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With more than two million objects in the Maxwell Museum collections, there a lot of stories to tell.  Learn some of them here.

Gallup Black-on-white jar (MMA 47.11.20)

Gallup Black-on-white jar (MMA 47.11.20)

Object Monday: Gallup black-on-white jar

Posted on: Monday, March 22, 2021

This Gallup Black-on-white jar excavated was from the fill of room 3 at Bc59, a small site located on the south side of Chaco Canyon, in July of 1947. Gallup Black-on-white vessels were made for approximately 170 years, from 980 to 1150 A.D. They... read more

Cocoon-shaped jar  (MMA 2012.91.60)

Cocoon-shaped jar, China, Han Dynasty 221 BC-220 AD (MMA 2012.91.60)

Object Monday: Han Dynasty cocoon-shaped jar

Posted on: Monday, March 15, 2021

This painted earthenware likely was a funerary offering in a Han Dynasty tomb, one of a suite of goods that accompanied the deceased into the afterlife. The vessel rests on a raised foot ring and its narrow neck suggest it was meant to held... read more

Samoan Tapa Cloth (MMA 83.13.1)

Samoan Tapa Cloth (83.13.1)

Object Monday: Samoan Tapa Cloth

Posted on: Monday, March 8, 2021

This tapa cloth, likely made from paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) bark, was gifted to donor Ira L. Kessler by a Samoan chief in 1943. The cloth’s age is evident by its tattered and fraying edges. The front side of the cloth has a design... read more

Ribboned hat (MMA 2018.23.76)

Ribboned hat (lixton pixolal),  San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico (MMA 2018.23.76)

Object Monday: Ceremonial Hat from Chiapas

Posted on: Monday, March 1, 2021

This man’s hat, with a flat brim adorned with red and green ribbons and a red tassel on top, is from the township of San Juan Chamula in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is made from palm fiber, most likely Sabal mexicana, a fan palm species that... read more

Ganado rug,  MMA 63.47.1

Ganado Rug. Artist unknown, ca. 1930. (MMA 63.47.1)

Object Monday: Ganado Rug

Posted on: Monday, February 22, 2021

This Navajo weaving in the Ganado style features a central motif of stepped hourglass shapes surrounded by terraced zig-zag lines and terraced “v” shapes on the sides in black, white, red, and natural wools. The overall dimensions of the rug are... read more

Seated Woman, Lagunillas Style E, Nayarit, Mexico, c. 300 BCE-300 CE, artist unknown (MMA 2006.66.2)

Seated Woman, Lagunillas Style E, Nayarit, Mexico, c. 300 BCE-300 CE, artist unknown (MMA 2006.66.2)


Object Monday: Identities in Clay

Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2021

With this post, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and UNM Art Museum Student Advisory Board (UNMAM SAB) are launching a new online collaboration featuring UNM museum collections and the work of student researchers. Today's post features the work... read more

Cochineal insects (2012.178.12a)

Cochineal insects (2012.178.12a)

Object Monday: Cochineal

Posted on: Monday, February 8, 2021

Cochineal is a magenta-colored dye that is derived from tiny parasitical insects (Dactylopius coccus) indigenous to Mexico, South and Central America, and the American Southwest. Mesoamericans have been cultivating the insects and dyeing with... read more

Bamileke elephant box (2019.12.1)

Bamileke elephant box (2019.12.1)

Object Monday: Bamileke Elephant Box

Posted on: Monday, February 1, 2021

This fully-beaded elephant-shaped box with lid was made by the Bamileke people of West Cameroon, Africa. The body and head of the elephant are carved from a solid piece of wood, and covered with beadwork over its entire surface. The beads are... read more

Maku Wichetty Grubs, by Dawn Nipper, ca. 2005

Maku Wichetty Grubs, by Dawn Nipper, ca. 2005

Object Monday: Maku Wichetty Grubs

Posted on: Monday, January 25, 2021

This painting on canvas by Australian Aboriginal artist Dawn Nipper is entitled “Maku Wichetty Grubs.” It depicts four bands of purple radiating out from a central black and white circle. Each band has two white grubs with orange dots at their... read more

Ci wara headdress (MMA 79.13.1)

Ci wara headdress (MMA 79.13.1)

Object Monday: Ci Wara (Chi Wara) headdress

Posted on: Monday, January 18, 2021

Art historians consider the ci wara (first documented in print in 1912 by a Frenchman as “Tyi Ouara”) to be the iconic African sculpture.  France colonized the region of West Africa now known as Mali (République du Mali) that included the Bamana... read more