Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology From towering Native American totem poles and large Maya sculptures to precious artifacts of the anci
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Sign up for behind-the-scenes news and program updates at https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/503

12/20/2023

Happy holidays! When planning your visit please keep our holiday hours in mind.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology will be closed: Friday, December 22–Tuesday, December 26, and Monday, January 1

The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East will be closed:
Friday, December 22–Monday, January 1

The Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments will be closed: Friday, December 22–Tuesday, December 26th, Thursday, December 28, and Monday, January 1

Some of us are wishing for snow! Do you like snow over the holidays, or wish it would wait until January? Leave your answer in the comments. ❄️☃️

11/29/2023

Please note our museums will be closing early today, at 3pm ET, for a staff meeting. See you tomorrow at 9am!

In late September, !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre  in South Africa opened its exhibition, “Bringing back the archive: Kal...
11/24/2023

In late September, !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre in South Africa opened its exhibition, “Bringing back the archive: Kalahari San explore the Marshall archive” to accolades from their visitors. https://tinyurl.com/KhwattuExhibit

Leon Tsamkxao—wearing a green hat in these photos—is a leader whose family appeared in many of the Marshall photographs. He journeyed to the opening to share stories of his encounters with the Marshalls. Magdalena Lukas (‡Khomani San) curated the exhibition with photographs from the Peabody Museum’s Marshall Family Archives and films from Documentary Educational Resources after working closely with the museum’s IMLS-funded Marshall Digitization project team this past summer (grant number MA-245387-OMS-20). The exhibition will be up for a year.

Exhibition photos by Chris Low.

The museums will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, due to the holiday. Good news - you can still explore the museum by ta...
11/21/2023

The museums will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, due to the holiday. Good news - you can still explore the museum by taking a mobile tour of our galleries, and arts & culture spots across campus. Simply download the "Visit Harvard" mobile app on iOs or Google Play: https://www.harvard.edu/visit/tours.

All the World Is Here and Encounters in the Americas exhibitions photos © Tony Rinaldo

This week Jennifer Berglund sits down with Stephanie Mach, a member of the Navajo Nation (Diné), and the first Native cu...
11/15/2023

This week Jennifer Berglund sits down with Stephanie Mach, a member of the Navajo Nation (Diné), and the first Native curator for the North American Collections at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

In their conversation, they trace Stephanie’s path from studying archaeology to joining the Peabody to help lead repatriation efforts per the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. They discuss the issues museums are facing as they reckon with the painful past of their colonial histories.

Stephanie details how the repatriation process allows the museum to not only return items belonging to respective tribes but, in her words, encourage “an understanding that the museum and curators are not the experts on culture. Communities themselves are the experts on their own histories, and their own cultures, and can tell their own stories. Museums are a tool that can help them do so. We need to show that we are flexible, that we are not just willing to listen, but we want to listen. We can only do that by building relationships and showing that we are ethical stewards.”

Listen to the episode: https://tinyurl.com/PodcastStephanieMach

Photo credit: Brooke Sietinsons

11/14/2023

How do Navajo scholars protect and steward cultural heritage in museums and in the community? Tomorrow (11/15) join Stephanie Mach (Diné), Peabody Museum Curator of North American Collections and Diné (Navajo) guests for a free hybrid panel conversation about the ways they each care for Navajo cultural heritage within their various areas of work and interest.

Her guests are Cynthia Wilson (Diné), Native and Indigenous Rights Fellow, Religion and Public Life Program, Harvard Divinity School, and Wade Campbell (Diné), Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, Boston University.

Advance registration required: https://tinyurl.com/NavajoCultureProgram. Mass Cultural Council

Following the panel conversation, attendees are encouraged to visit the Hall of the North American Indian at the Peabody Museum—from 7:15¬ to 8:00 pm—where Harvard students will be available to share information about key cultural items on display.

Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture in collaboration with the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at the Harvard Divinity School, the Harvard University Native American Program, and the Constellation Project of the Planetary Health Alliance.

The Harvard Yard excavation is well underway! Every year students partner with the Department of Anthropology, Harvard U...
11/06/2023

The Harvard Yard excavation is well underway! Every year students partner with the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and the Peabody Museum to find treasures of times past. Their work this season focuses on the 18th century. The archaeologists found a 17th-century pipe in the new location, near Holden Chapel. Holden Chapel was built in 1744—Harvard’s first purpose-built religious structure. Follow their adventures on Instagram at harvardyardarchaeology.

Remembering and celebrating loved ones on Día de Mu***os. For years, visitors to our Day of the Dead event have composed...
11/02/2023

Remembering and celebrating loved ones on Día de Mu***os. For years, visitors to our Day of the Dead event have composed messages for loved ones and placed them on the community altar to remain on view through the month of November. It is always deeply moving to see people of all ages taking a quiet moment to reflect and connect with friends, family, and pets who have passed on.

All photos by EJSP Visual - Julieta Sarmiento Photographyl except photograph of visitors crafting paper banners

# ́aDeMu***os

Happy Bat Week! Enjoy this Zapotec ceramic urn depicting the bat god, an ancient deity related to night, death, and ance...
10/31/2023

Happy Bat Week! Enjoy this Zapotec ceramic urn depicting the bat god, an ancient deity related to night, death, and ancestral spirits. 32-32-20/61

We are happy to announce the upcoming hybrid panel conversation “Caring for Navajo Culture: In Museums and Beyond.” On W...
10/24/2023

We are happy to announce the upcoming hybrid panel conversation “Caring for Navajo Culture: In Museums and Beyond.”

On Wednesday, November 15 Stephanie Mach (Diné), Curator of North American Collections, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Cynthia Wilson (Diné), Native and Indigenous Rights Fellow, Religion and Public Life Program, Harvard Divinity School, and Wade Campbell (Diné), Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, Boston University, will participate in a hybrid panel conversation about the ways they each care for Navajo cultural heritage within their various areas of work and interest.

Advance registration required: https://tinyurl.com/NavajoCultureProgram.

Following the panel conversation, attendees are encouraged to visit the Hall of the North American Indian at the Peabody Museum—from 7:15¬ to 8:00 pm—where Harvard students will be available to share information about key cultural items on display.

Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture in collaboration with the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR), Harvard Divinity School; the Harvard University Native American Program; and the Constellation Project of the Planetary Health Alliance.

Our free Teen Saturdays workshops welcome Latino high school students to delve into four fascinating festivals that shap...
10/20/2023

Our free Teen Saturdays workshops welcome Latino high school students to delve into four fascinating festivals that shape societies in El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. This Saturday's theme is about Costa Rica's Dia de la Mascarada (Day of the Masquerade)!

The teens visit exhibits, use art and language to create original works, and challenge their sense of what a tradition can be through discussion. We hope to see you at one of the workshops!

Leer en español, and see details on future dates and themes, and registration: https://tinyurl.com/TeenSaturdays2023

Recommended for students entering grades 9–12, ages 14–19. Presented in Spanish with English translation as needed.

On International Archaeology Day, Saturday, October 21st, drop in to the Encounters in the Americas gallery for an augme...
10/13/2023

On International Archaeology Day, Saturday, October 21st, drop in to the Encounters in the Americas gallery for an augmented reality experience!

A gallery facilitator will guide you through the fascinating world of an ancient Maya plate used for serving chocolate. Use the museum's iPad as a "magic window" to discover fine details on one such plate that cannot be seen on the actual artifact.

Saturday, October 21, 11:00 am–1:00 pm. Regular museum admission rates apply.

Photo © Tony Rinaldo

AT CAPACITY: Día de los Mu***os is joyful holiday in Mexico. Celebrate with us on Thursday, October 26th as part of our ...
10/10/2023

AT CAPACITY: Día de los Mu***os is joyful holiday in Mexico. Celebrate with us on Thursday, October 26th as part of our ongoing free night at the museum series ArtsThursdays. https://tinyurl.com/DiaDeMu***osEvent

Visitors can participate in craft activities, learn about the natural history of Mexico, watch live folk dance and mariachi performances, and purchase traditional pan de mu**to, hot chocolate, or specialty cocktails. Contribute your message of love to honor and celebrate the lives of the departed at the museum’s altars.

The Day of the Dead altar is a major stop on the “Celebrando América Latina” scavenger hunt. Museum volunteer and photographer, Dr. Julie Sarmiento, says “This altar is a beautiful representation of a holiday that embraces death as part of life. Ofrendas are heartfelt creations in Mexican culture, and the intricate display of paper marigolds, painted skulls, favorite foods, and mementos brings an abundance of color into this gallery.”

Leer en español and register: https://tinyurl.com/DiaDeMu***osEvent


Photo by Angela Rowlings

***os

Happy Archaeology Month! For a dirt-free experience of what lies beneath the Harvard Yard, check the drawers in Digging ...
10/06/2023

Happy Archaeology Month! For a dirt-free experience of what lies beneath the Harvard Yard, check the drawers in Digging Veritas.

They reveal a layer-by-layer selection of artifacts from 17th-century glass and window lead to 21st-century topsoil mixed with 1871 construction materials. The deeper we dug, the older the artifacts. If you wander through Harvard Yard this month, you may encounter Archaeology of Harvard Yard students excavating near Holden Chapel, led by museum archaeologists Diana Loren and Patricia Capone.

Photo by David Baron

Harvard students start leading tours of the Peabody Museum on October 1. Tours connect visitors with the research, teach...
09/25/2023

Harvard students start leading tours of the Peabody Museum on October 1. Tours connect visitors with the research, teaching, and Indigenous engagement surrounding the cultural heritage in the museum’s care. Drop in for a tour, free with museum admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2:00 or Sundays at 11:00 am*. See the website for full schedule: https://tinyurl.com/PeabodyTours

*Sunday mornings are free to MA residents with valid ID*

Photo credit: EJSP Visual - Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Peabody Museum Tours by Harvard Students Tours by Harvard students connect visitors with the research, teaching, and Indigenous engagement surrounding the cultural heritage in the museum’s care. How do items come to the museum? Who accesses them and how do items return home? Visitors may drop in a...

¡Sábados de Jóvenes en el Museo!1:00 pm – 3:30 pm    23 de septiembre: El Salvador-Las Bolas de Fuego    21 de octubre: ...
09/20/2023

¡Sábados de Jóvenes en el Museo!
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

23 de septiembre: El Salvador-Las Bolas de Fuego
21 de octubre: Costa Rica-Día de la Mascarada
11 de noviembre: Honduras-Ceremonia de Tz’ikin
9 de diciembre: Guatemala-Barriletes

Programa Presencial para Jóvenes
Celebraciones Tradicionales de Centroamérica
Los Sábados de Jóvenes están diseñados para estudiantes latinos de preparatoria. Los talleres se enfocan en cuatro fascinantes celebraciones tradicionales de Centroamérica. Los participantes embarcarán en un viaje para descubrir diversos festivales que dan forma a las sociedades de El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica y Guatemala. Durante cada taller, los jóvenes visitarán exposiciones, utilizarán el arte y el lenguaje para crear obras originales y desafiarán su entendimiento de lo que puede ser una tradición a través del debate.

Aprenderemos sobre los contextos históricos y sociales que hay detrás de estas festividades, su simbolismo cultural y los valores que representan. Se animará a los jóvenes a compartir sus experiencias culturales y tradiciones, fomentando un ambiente de respeto mutuo, orgullo y comprensión. Desde el Festival de las Bolas de Fuego, que conmemora una explosión volcánica, hasta el Festival de Barriletes Gigantes, que honra a los vivos y a los mu**tos, únete a nosotros para explorar las culturas que hacen de nuestro mundo un lugar verdaderamente extraordinario.

Gratuito. Inscripción previa requerida 24 horas antes del comienzo de cada taller. Inscríbete a uno o más programas. Recomendado para estudiantes del 9º a 12º año escolar, de 14 a 19 años. Presentado en español con traducción al inglés según sea necesario.

Read in English: https://tinyurl.com/TeenSaturdays2023

Thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services we are excited to have just completed a 3-year project to make ov...
09/13/2023

Thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services we are excited to have just completed a 3-year project to make over 32,000 photos and 16,000 records of the Marshall Family Archive digitally available to all. https://tinyurl.com/MarshallArchive

The collection of photographic and written records, created by the Laurence K. and Lorna J. Marshall family, documents how Indigenous peoples of the Kalahari Desert region–primarily the Ju/’hoansi, G/ui, and Naro–lived prior to extended contact with the Western world.

Over the course of the Marshall Family Expeditions from 1950-1961, the Ju/’hoansi the Marshalls followed transitioned from being independent, seasonally migrant hunter-gatherers to living on a reserve and participating in a cash and welfare economy.

This collection offers an in-depth view of the process and immediate effects of cultural change that was unprecedented in anthropology. It is one of the most important archives of hunter-gatherers and includes historical images of other African peoples including Herero, Himba, and Ovambo.

In digitizing the Marshall Family Archives, we strive to share these important historical documents and photographs as widely as possible, especially with the communities with whom the Marshalls worked.

We are supporting the exhibition Bringing Back the Archive. The San Exploring the Marshalls' Archival Legacy opening this fall at the Khwa ttu in South Africa, which includes contemporary elements from members of the Tsumkwe Ju/’hoan community with whom the Marshalls primarily worked.

In addition, we have contributed photographs to projects initiated by Museums Association of Namibia: a mobile exhibition and catalog Stand Together and a Museum of Namibian Fashion pocket guide and website. We will continue to build on these partnerships and establish new ones.

Herero women looking at a Polaroid print. Namibia, 1950. 2001.29.922 Gift of Laurence K. Marshall and Lorna J. Marshall.

Tsamgao, a Ju/'hoan boy, with his own homemade “camera,” 1955. Photograph probably by Daniel Blitz. Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Namibia, 1955. 2001.29.657 Gift of Laurence K. Marshall and Lorna J. Marshall.

≠Toma holding his granddaughter, Khuan//a, daughter of //Ao and ≠Nisa. In this 1952-53 photo by Marshall family expediti...
09/10/2023

≠Toma holding his granddaughter, Khuan//a, daughter of //Ao and ≠Nisa. In this 1952-53 photo by Marshall family expeditions photographer Anneliese Scherz, family relationships were carefully noted as part of the team’s multidisciplinary efforts to document the Ju/’hoan people of the Kalahari. Gift of Laurence K. Marshall and Lorna J. Marshall, 2001.29.267 https://bit.ly/PeabodyGrandparentsDay

08/30/2023

For this month’s episode host Jennifer Berglund explores the Peabody Museum’s repatriation process of returning meaningful objects back to origin communities. Recently a sacred totem pole was returned to the Gitxaała Nation in British Columbia. It was taken from the Nation by a ship captain 126 years ago before coming to the Peabody.

Dustin Johnson, a member of and Cultural Program Manager for the Gitxaała Nation, and Kara Schneiderman, the Peabody's Director of Collections, speak with Jennie about the meaning of sending such an important piece of cultural heritage back home to the people of the remote village of Lax Klan in the Gitxaała Nation.

Dustin coordinated the return, reaching out to Elders and Hereditary Chiefs. He says, “Four Elder Matriarchs removed the veil to show the community what the pole looks like. It was very emotional for a lot of people. The pole is like one of our ancestors and bringing home the pole is like bringing home one of our great past Chiefs. It was a great wake-up call for us because this is the start of many more to come.”

Kara says, “The return marks the first international repatriation of a cultural item for the Peabody. It has made us think more broadly about how we approach our relatively new model of ethical stewardship and recognize that sometimes that means that to properly care for an item, it has to be returned. Repatriation isn't something that museums need to be afraid of. It doesn't take something away from the museum, because it's replaced with the relationship that you build with that community.”

Listen to the episode: https://bit.ly/HMSCPodcast

Photo of Dustin by Brenna Innes

08/28/2023

Come to our opening of "Where We Belong: Tree Chuangs" to view textile sculptures called tree chuangs, designed by artist Xinan Ran with local communities. The cylindrical textile is commonly used in Buddhism and is comprised of individual pieces. The works encourage us to see different ways in which we belong, and learn to connect to each other.

The free outdoor event takes place on Friday, September 8 at 4pm - 4:30 pm outside the Harvard Museum of Natural History. https://bit.ly/TreeChuangsOpening

The tree chuangs will remain on view through October 31.

Beam Center photo: Stefany Lazar

Happy World Photography Day! The Robert Gardner Fellowship at the Peabody Museum funds photographers to create a book of...
08/19/2023

Happy World Photography Day! The Robert Gardner Fellowship at the Peabody Museum funds photographers to create a book of photographs about the human condition anywhere in the world. The current bilingual exhibition of Zhang Xiao’s work features the Shehuo spring festival (Community Fire) in northern China.

血社火团队演出前在院子里化妆.
Blood Shehuo performers putting on make-up before their show

陕西省宝鸡市陇县东南镇闫家庵村, 2018.
图片版权:© 张晓
Yanjia'an Village, Southeast Town, Long County, Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, 2018. © Zhang Xiao

08/14/2023

¡Celebremos El Salvador! https://bit.ly/ElSalvadorHMSC

Domingo, 17 de septiembre, 12:00-3:00 pm

Museo de Historia Natural de Harvard (26 Oxford Street) y Museo Peabody de Arqueología y Etnología (11 Divinity Avenue)

Evento especial para todas las edades

Celebre la vibrante cultura e historia natural de El Salvador. Disfrute de los cautivadores bailes folclóricos del Grupo Torogoz y pruebe actividades como moler maíz y pintar con insectos cochinillas. Participe en una búsqueda del tesoro y descubra el rico patrimonio de animales, minerales y artefactos de la región. Únase a un arqueólogo para una visita virtual a Joya de Cerén, la Pompeya de Latinoamérica. Tómese un descanso con la hora de cuentos en español, disfrute de comida tradicional salvadoreña (a la venta) y participe en el sorteo de una cesta de regalos del museo. ¡Todos son bienvenidos a explorar, aprender y celebrar con nosotros!

Entrada gratuita.

Estacionamiento gratuito en el estacionamiento de 52 Oxford Street.

We are kicking off our first program of the season on Sunday, September 17th! During the ¡Celebremos El Salvador! event visitors can celebrate the vibrant culture and natural history of El Salvador.

Enjoy captivating folk dances by Grupo Torogoz and try hands-on activities including corn grinding and painting with cochineal insects. Go on a scavenger hunt and discover the rich heritage of animals, minerals, and artifacts from the region. Join an archaeologist for a live-streamed tour of Joya de Cerén, the Pompeii of Latin America.

Take a break with Spanish Story Time, enjoy traditional Salvadoran cuisine (available for purchase), and enter a raffle to win a museum gift basket. All are welcome to explore, learn, and celebrate with us!

See more details: https://bit.ly/ElSalvadorHMSC

Free admission and parking. All ages welcome.

Presented in collaboration with the Consulado General de El Salvador en Boston, Massachusetts and the Ministerio de Cultura de El Salvador.

Happy National Book Lovers Day! The new book “Zhang Xiao: Community Fire” by Gardner Fellow Zhang Xiao (Peabody Museum P...
08/09/2023

Happy National Book Lovers Day! The new book “Zhang Xiao: Community Fire” by Gardner Fellow Zhang Xiao (Peabody Museum Press/Aperture) features 150 photographs, a selection of which are on view in the exhibition Shehuo: Community Fire.

Zhang focused on Shehuo (社火), the spring festival celebrated in rural China, marking its transition from a heterogeneous cultural tradition with myriad regional variations to a mostly tourist-facing, consumption-oriented enterprise.
https://bit.ly/CommunityFireBook

Villagers pose in standing crane outfits, Huozhuang Village, Henan Province
单人站立仙鹤套装, 河南省霍庄村, 2019

Happy International Beer Day! This Bud—on view in “Resetting the Table”—was carefully excavated by Peabody Museum staff ...
08/05/2023

Happy International Beer Day! This Bud—on view in “Resetting the Table”—was carefully excavated by Peabody Museum staff and Harvard students during a dig in Harvard Yard. The team was looking for evidence of colonial Harvard and discovered these in an upper soil layer. When they got to colonial objects they found even more evidence of beer drinking. 2008.22.261.1 and 2008.22.261.2
https://bit.ly/HarvadYardBud

Recently we hosted a workshop at the Cambridge Senior Center. Participants created pieces that will be incorporated into...
07/29/2023

Recently we hosted a workshop at the Cambridge Senior Center. Participants created pieces that will be incorporated into the Tree Chuang project. The project creates a space that encourages sharing and learning across different generations and cultural backgrounds. Stay tuned for information about fall happenings!

Photo credit: EJSP Visual | Julieta Sarmiento EJSP Visual - Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Explore unique, pre-1492 civilizations, exemplified by the Classic Maya and Postclassic Aztec in the Encounters in the A...
07/26/2023

Explore unique, pre-1492 civilizations, exemplified by the Classic Maya and Postclassic Aztec in the Encounters in the Americas gallery. The recently refreshed exhibition presents the continuing struggle of contemporary Maya, Panamanian Guna, and Amazonian native groups to maintain their values and autonomy. https://bit.ly/VisitthePeabody

Waves, storms, and the open sea are all challenges to ocean travel. Peoples of the Pacific Islands built canoes with out...
07/25/2023

Waves, storms, and the open sea are all challenges to ocean travel. Peoples of the Pacific Islands built canoes with outriggers to provide stability in rough water, allowing for long-distance travel. Some outrigger canoes had sails, but this model was powered by paddling. Find this model in the third floor exhibit, Uncovering Pacific Pasts, as part of our "Around the World in Many Ways" self-guided scavenger hunt.

Model of an Outrigger Canoe (Vaka) from Tatakoto Atoll in the Tuamotu Islands, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

In his project "Community Fire," a Peabody Museum Gardner recipient photographer, Zhang Xiao, takes a local look at Sheh...
07/21/2023

In his project "Community Fire," a Peabody Museum Gardner recipient photographer, Zhang Xiao, takes a local look at Shehuo (社火), a Chinese Spring Festival tradition celebrated in rural Northern Chinese communities.

Xiao’s new book, co-published by and the Peabody Museum, is now available: https://bit.ly/community-fire.

Take a look inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB_lbZK3Ftk.

The related exhibit Shehuo: Community Fire is on view in the museum through April 14, 2024�. https://bit.ly/CommunityFire

All images: From Zhang Xiao: Community Fire (Aperture, 2023).

07/20/2023

Happy National Moon Day! King Esarhaddon is shown keeping his eyes to the sky in this large stela. Among the twelve gods he worships in this depiction is Sin, the moon god, shown as a crescent moon. You can see the Victory Stela of Esarhadden on the museum's third floor. https://bit.ly/HMANEVisit

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