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"Conversing with the Land" & "We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People" - Exhibition Opening and Panel Discussion

Friday, November 11, 2022 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology - 500 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
Free and open to all

Join us for the opening of two new temporary exhibits, "Conversing with the Land: Native North American Baskets of the Maxwell Museum Collections" and "We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People: Pueblo Baskets in Context." Both will be on display from November 11, 2022 - January 10, 2024. Moreover, before the opening, the Maxwell will be hosting a special Panel Discussion in Room 105 of the Hibben Center for Archaeological Research, located just south of the Museum, from 6:00-7:15 pm, followed by a reception in the Museum.

The panel discussion of Pueblo basketry will be with Pueblo artists and knowledge holders—Louie García (Tiwa/Piro Pueblo), Christopher Lewis (Zuni), Jilli M. Oyenque (Ohkay Owingeh), Paul Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), Madeline Tosa (Jemez Pueblo), and Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo)—moderated by anthropologist and guest co-curator, UNM alumnus Dr. Bruce Bernstein.

In July 2022, a group of distinguished Pueblo artists and knowledge holders came to the Maxwell Museum to view a selection of Pueblo baskets from the museum’s collections. They generously shared knowledge about the varied techniques, uses, and meanings embedded within these baskets, and together, with museum staff, they agreed to co-curate an exhibition presenting these rarely seen objects to the public. The result is "We Were Basket Makers Before We Were Pueblo People: Pueblo Baskets in Context" which will be housed in the Alfonso Ortiz Center Gathering Space of the Maxwell Museum.

Transforming and countering incorrect colonial narratives, the panel conversation will discuss the importance of Indigenous knowledge systems within both community and museum contexts. By foregrounding Indigenous ways of knowing, the panel participants will discuss the baskets at the heart of this exhibition, which were collected by UNM anthropologist Florence Hawley Ellis in the 1950s and 1960s.

Please join us for the panel discussion and to celebrate the opening of both exhibitions.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the UNM Vice President for Research, Research and Discovery Week and the exhibits are in part funded by the Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies. 

Basket, Akimel O’odham, Arizona, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Transfer from UNM Zimmerman Library. 65.42.123