Here are some questions to consider before you enter the virtual tour or to the museum:
Question: What is a "kachina"?
As you enter the small room with the rest of the collection, you will see a long line of Mogollon Mimbres pottery. This is ome of the most famous of all Southwestern pottery. It is also some of the oldest in this collection dating to 1000-1150 C.E. Here you will find the classic black and white as well as the red and white designs of animals, geometric designs, and human figures. See the Mogollon Page for links and outline of discussion.
Question: Why do all the bowls have holes in the bottom? See this example.
Toward the center of the room you will find some nice jars and a really cute bighorn sheep figurine. These were made by the Hohokam and Mogollon peoples. They were some of the most famous artists in the southwest. See this page for much more information. (The Mogollon also made the Mimbres pottery.)
Nearby, you will find four so-called "Anasazi" pieces including both effigies and jars. Currently, the term "Anasazi" is under fire by the Pueblo peoples to whom others refer to their ancestors as the "Anasazi." The word "Anasazi" is actually a Navajo word and means "my enemies." Because of this, the term "Ancient Pueblo Peoples" is preferred by today's Pueblo peoples. For more links and discussion, see the Ancient Pueblos page.
Question: Who wants to be the first to tell the Dallas Museum of Art directors that they are politically incorrect?
Toward the back of the little room area and near the stairs, you will see three pieces that originated from outside the Southwest. The three Caddo examples make for some interesting comparisons to the rest of the collection. The two bottles and large red bowl that date from 1200-1500 C.E. came from Arkansas, but they could have come from the Dallas area since the Caddo lived from Dallas to the east. Their pottery is prized among collectors and archaeologists. Note the beautiful engraving and incising. You might want to read this article about the history of Texas pottery or for links and outline of discussion, see the Caddo page. Maybe you would like to make your own Caddo pottery.
Before you leave, you will also notice the masks and shaman staff from the Yup'ik Eskimo people and a Canadian Haida head rattle. For its 2,000-year history, the Central Yup'ik Eskimo population has remained unusually high, sustained by the great amounts of salmon that enter Alaska's two largest rivers. Over 20,000 people now live in 52 villages in a region the size of the state of Oregon. This is the highest population of Native Americans living continuously on their traditional lands, and their culture and language remain intact.
The Haida are North American Indians who came from the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia and invaded Prince of Wales Island, probably early in the 18th century. The Haida language belongs to the family of Nadene languages. Traditional Haida society was organized into many single villages composed of one to several house groups or Matriclans. They were headed by hereditary chiefs. Chiefs gave potlatches to guests of the opposite moiety, displaying hereditary crests and dances, wearing masks for spirital powers. Warfare with enemy tribes was frequent, for revenge, booty, and slaves. Expert fishermen and seafarers, the Haida depended heavily on halibut, black cod, sea mammals, mollusks, and freshwater salmon catches. The abundant red cedars were used to make huge dugout canoes, multifamily plank houses, numerous TOTEM poles as memorials, and carved boxes and dishes.
The Yu'pik of Western Alaska
Haida Village Photo with Totem Poles
Haida Indian Culture and History - Links
Here are some other museums and galleries featuring
Pueblo, Caddo, Hohokam, Mogollon, and Alaskan pottery and other Indian artifacts and art:
Index of Other Related Pages from El Centro:
Woodland Peoples: Caddo Links and Outline of Class Discussion
Peoples of the Southwest: