Coffee and Curators: Horse'n around the Archaeological Record Thursday, May 18th Carlton Shield Chief Gover, Curator of Public Archaeology at IUMAA, discussed how recent investigations of museum collections and collaborative research with Indigenous communites have led Western scholars to rethink the presence of horses in Indigenous History. In concert with cutting-edge advances in aDNA analysis and AMS dating, the story of the horses in Indigenous cultures is more profound than previous believed.
Angel Mounds: 1805-1938 Wednesday, April 19 Mike Linderman, Angel Mounds State Historic Site Director, discussed the modern history of the site, from the first official note of it in 1805 through the purchase of the site by the Indiana Historical Society in 1938. Special emphasis was placed on Glenn Black and Eli Lilly during discussions of the WPA excavations at the site, subsequent IU archaeological field schools, and development into the State Historic Site of today.
Coffee and Curators: The Elinor and Vincent Ostrom Collection--A Nobel Collector and a Notable Collection Thursday, April 13 The Elinor and Vincent Ostrom Collection at the IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is unique in its contents as well as the way it was collected. As an outgrowth of their personal interests, the Ostroms built their collection over more than five decades as scholars of social dynamics in communities around the world. During that time, Elinor and Vincent gained an appreciation for the local indigenous art and crafts and began to collect Ojibwe works. The Ostroms always held a special interest in both traditional and contemporary work by North American Native Americans, and particularly favored basketry and prints. Judy Kirk, Assistant Director of the IUMAA, presented a free 20-minute talk about the Ostroms and their collection.
Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Saturday, April 1 The IUMAA and other community organizations presented arts, music, language, and international crafts that let attendees get their hands on the world with more than 30 vibrant, high-energy activity stations (visitors created Tughra --a Turkish calligraphic signature--at the IUMAA station).
IU Traditional Powwow Saturday, April 1 The Indiana University annual Traditional Powwow attracts hundreds of visitors each year and boasts a line-up of nationally known dancers and singers, along with traditional foods, crafts, and dance clothing. Performers of all ages participate, carrying on the traditions of their people as they represent them through their feathers and beadwork, their dance clothes, the songs they sing, and the styles in which they dance. IUMAA hosted an information table and was a co-sponsor of the event, which was free and open to the public.
Bamana Riddles Thursday, March 23 Riddles in Africa are regularly considered a type of art form used by young people and children and have long been included in studies on African oral literature. Because they often involve metaphorical or poetic explanations, attendees learned about the many forms of riddles in the Manding society, as well as the meanings behind them during this presentation by Dr. Amadou Beidy Sow. Dr. Sow is a Senior Lecturer in IU's African Studies Program.
Coffee and Curators: Red Coral of the Dee Birnbaum Collection Thursday, March 23 Caroline Goodwin discussed the histories, meanings, and styles behind the rare and brilliant red coral jewelry of the Dee Birnbaum Collection. This precious natural material has journeyed from the depths of the Mediterranean and through a complicated trade system of harvesters, merchants, jewelers, native peoples, and collectors to make its way to the IUMAA.
Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History (film screening) Thursday, February 23 Arab Indianapolis is a community project that aims to document the long history and contributions of Arab Americans to Greater Indianapolis.
Coffee and Curators: Puppets at the IUMAA Thursday, February 23 Jennifer Goodlander explored the dynamics of puppets as objects used in performance and methods of display within the museum while looking at the IUMAA's collection from Indonesia, Mali, and Turkey that will be used in a future exhibit.
Anthropology Day Thursday, February 16 Behind the scenes tours for visiting students... and swag!
Coffee and Curators: Underwater Archaeology Thursday, January 26 Research assistant Sarah Muckerheide of IU's Center for Underwater Science discussed IU's ongoing archaeological investigation of a mid-16th century Spanish shipwreck off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
Museum Feelings: Case Studies from the Collections December 9 A webinar with art historian Sarah Anne Carter who drew upon her current project on the "emotional history of museums" and her first book Object Lessons. Co-hosted by IU's Department of Art History, the Eskenazi Museum of Art, IU Curatorship program, and the IUMAA for the IU Historical Teaching and Practice seminar series.
Archaeology and Identity: Themester panel November 30 A panel of IU archaeologists discussed how they research past cultures' identities and the struggles they face while doing so. Panelists were Alex Badillo, Carlton Shield Chief Gover, and Emily Van Alst; moderator was Keitlyn Alcantara.
New Directions in Native American Museum Interpretation November 18 Experts from across the US discussed their experiences in reshaping the interpretation of Native American history and culture in American museums. Moderated by Liz Black of Indiana University Department of History. Panelists were Dorene Red Cloud of the Eiteljorg Museum, Carlton Shield Chief Gover of Indiana University Department of Anthropology and IUMAA, and Josh Garrett-Davis of the Autry Museum of the American West. Event co-sponsored by the IU Curatorship MA program.
Coffee & Curators: Creating and Preserving the Visual Record November 10 From hand-drawn illustrations to 3D models, the visual documentation of archaeological sites and artifacts has a long and ever-evolving history. The IUMAA preserves extensive collections of images, which document over a century of fieldwork and curation in the region. Archaeology Collections Manager, Jennifer St. Germain, gave an overview of these collections, some recent preservation efforts, and briefly discussed the various formats and technologies used over time to create these images.
Curating Contexts: Puerto Rican Museum Collections in Historical, Artistic, and Digital Practice November 4 Amanda Guzmán, an assistant professor of anthropology at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, explored how past portrayals as a tropical paradise for tourists or a place to be acted on by outside forces may change as the island’s path is imagined and written by, and for, its people, and discusses possible role museum collections, object assemblages with the potential to recover generations of silenced local actors and agency, play in conveying today’s Puerto Rican identities. Co-sponsored by Institute for Advanced Study at IU, Themester, and First Nations Educational & Cultural Center.
First Thursdays November 3 The IUMAA celebrated the Year of Glass with an activity.
ScienceFest 2022 October 22 IUMAA carved pumpkins with stone tools from the archaeology education collections and we made our own safe stone tools using craft supplies! Flintknapping demonstrations occurred periodically throughout the day.
Coffee and Curators: Exhibit Development October 13 IUMAA Exhibits and Education Assistant, Sarah Rosenkrans, walked us through the process of designing a museum exhibit using an upcoming exhibit ("How We Know") as a case study.
Indigenous Peoples' Day October 9 IUMAA and MCPL Children's Services joined to celebrate with a reading of Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, as well as a language activity for children 5 to 12.
First Thursdays Festival October 7 Puppets have a lot to say about personal and cultural identity. We made our own to explore what puppets had to say at the First Thursdays festival. The IU Quilt was revealed too!
Lotus in the Park September 24 IUMAA showcased a variety of cup-and-ball toys from around the world. Lotus in the Park was the family-friendly event at Switchyard Park during the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival.
Themester lecture: "Multicultural Lessons for Today form a Thousand Years Ago" September 15 As part of Themester 2022: Identity and Identification, Josh Wells spoke about an Indigenous culture, called the Vincennes Phase by archaeologists, that provided evidence about multicultural identities from almost one thousand years ago. The lessons discussed with reference to archaeological, ethnohistoric, and ethnographic evidence helped to illuminate the various uses of identities in Vincennes Phase community construction in the central Wabash drainage between about CE 1050 to 1450/1500.
Coffee and Curators: Cold Sourced and Cold Brewed August 18 This free online 20-minute talk by Ryan Peterson, IUMAA Research Fellow, provided a brief introduction into sourcing copper using trace element and lead isotope analysis. Peterson is a PhD Candidate at Indiana University’s Department of Anthropology specializing in native copper production and value in the northern Lake Superior Basin during the Nipissing high paleo-lake level.
Textile-rolling: Preservation of IUMAA Textiles August 4 Here's a different kind of "hands-on" activity! Program participants worked with staff to prepare the museum's 650+ flat textiles (quilts, coverlets, weavings) need to be rolled into new wrappings for preservation.
Coffee and Curators: Musical Instruments at IUMAA July 14 Why does the IUMAA have more than 2,000 musical instruments? Who are Hornbostel and Herzog? Sarah Hatcher, Head of Programs and Education at IUMAA, discussed the musical instrument collection at the IUMAA during this free online event.
Coffee and Curators: Angel Mounds Celestial Alignments June 9 The people who built Angel Mounds carefully altered their landscape by building mounds in precise locations that aided viewing of solar, lunar, and celestial events. This talk by IUMAA Director, Ed Herrmann, focused on recent observations showing how the arrangement of mounds relate directly to the sun, moon, and stars at this important site.
Coffee and Curators: 1939 Angel Mounds May 12 This talk explored the various collections related to Glenn Black and Angel Mounds during the beginning of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Project. Kelsey Grimm, IUMAA Librarian and Archivist, highlighted images, documents, and artifacts from 1939 Angel Mounds!
IU Day: IUMAA World Coffee Tasting April 20 We celebrated IU Day and IU’s global connections with a taste of coffees from around the world: a sweet cinnamon one from Mexico, a cheesy drink from Norway, and a spicy one from Senegal. Members of the museum’s Student Advisory Council handed out free coffee samples and IUMAA swag!
Coffee and Curators: Hoosier Heritage-Warder W. Stevens, Logan Esarey, and Indiana collections at IUMAA April 14 The Spring semester’s final “Coffee and Curators” presentation explored the museum’s Hoosier heritage. The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology holds several collections of Indiana historical material, including artifacts documenting home textile industries, carpentry, and stone working, as well as items of everyday use. The core of this set of materials is the Stevens-Esarey Collection, approximately 300 items in all. It was amassed by Salem, Indiana, resident Warder W. Stevens in the early 1900s. Stevens wished to save traditionally-used tools he saw disappearing with lifestyle changes occurring at the time. The collection was obtained by Indiana University in 1914 through the work of history professor Logan Esarey, who recognized the value of having material objects as teaching aids, and promoted the use of this collection in the teaching of history. Judy Kirk, Assistant Director of IUMAA, explored the work of the two men and the artifacts they collected and documented, still held by the museum today.
IU Traditional Powwow April 9 The Indiana University annual Traditional Powwow attracts hundreds of visitors each year and boasts a line-up of nationally known dancers and singers, along with traditional foods, crafts, and dance clothing. Performers of all ages participate, carrying on the traditions of their people as they represent them through their feathers and beadwork, their dance clothes, the songs they sing, and the styles in which they dance. The powwow is an important time when generations come together to share in dance and song, and to celebrate the diversity of contemporary Native American tribal identity.
Hosted by the IU First Nations Education and Cultural Center (FNECC), and co-sponsored by IUMAA. For more information visit the Powwow webpage.
First Thursdays April 7 First Thursdays festivals showcase the diversity of arts and humanities at IU Bloomington and offer a welcoming environment for students and other community members to explore new creative outlets and engage with the work of their peers and faculty members. IUMAA staff will be on hand to present crafts and information about the new museum.
Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar April 2 The annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar featured free multicultural arts and education event; IUMAA staff made Martenitsi (Bulgaria) and Adire (Yoruba).
Coffee and Curators: Saving the Wanamaker Collection March 10 The stories of how the Wanamaker Collection of American Indian Photographs came to Indiana University and how it’s been cared for over the years. Talk given by Chief Curator, Ellen Sieber.
Incising to Instagram: Native American Women, Cultural Expression, and Resiliency March 3 Tracing the history of Native American women’s cultural expression, we will explore how Native women have adapted their mediums to keep traditional art forms a part of their communities. Emily Van Alst expanded upon the understanding of Native women's social presence by examining their role in artistic practice, specifically how they have affected media including rock art, quillwork, beadwork, and others. This work has implications for our understanding of how a return to traditional artistic expression now works as resistive practice to colonialism even now.
Coffee and Curators: Jingling bells and hidden silver: Egyptian Zar jewelry from the Dee Birnbaum Collection February 17 Once widely practiced in Egypt but now largely performed in secret, Zar is a type of folk ritual intended to heal ailments believed to be caused by spirit possession. Predominately associated with women, Zar rituals were not intended to exorcise spirits but to please them so that the patient was no longer suffering. In addition to music, dancing, food, and offerings, jewelry played a prominent role in Zar ceremonies and was a component of daily dress for Zar practitioners. This talk by Emily Bryant highlighted some of the numerous Zar-related pieces from the Dee Birnbaum textile and jewelry collection.
How Not to Get A-head in Anthropology: Anthropological Face Casts and Ongoing Issues of Ambiguity, Memory, and Resilience February 11 Anthropologically informed plaster face casts were produced in the 19th and 20th centuries as part of an effort to develop human typologies, and to acquire data on what were perceived to be the morphological attributes of race. Their subsequent affective, politically sensitive, promiscuously mobile, and precarious qualities have resulted in them occupying highly charged territories within collections, as well as between museums and descendant communities. They are objects with inherent ambiguities due to how they exist at the intersections of art and science, merging individual, cultural, political, and colonialized bodies. Casts also provide tangible traces of unwanted physical intimacy resulting from how colonized peoples often had no choice in being cast or handled by strangers. In recent years, however, they have also been used by descendent communities as memorials of family members. This article explores this potent intersection of ambiguity and intimacy that these casts occupy, arguing for an ethical protocol for their treatment that acknowledges their history, colonial contexts, and the processes behind their creation, as well as their current legacies, facets of resilience, as well as their re-socialization through renewed relationships with descendant communities.
Event co-hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study.
Coffee and Curators: Madge Minton's Collections from Pakistan at IUMAA January 20 Madge Minton’s 1965 trip to Pakistan resulted in a collection of more than 400 objects for the IU Museum (the predecessor to today’s IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology). This short talk by Sarah Junk Hatcher introduced the collector and this collection of handmade items ranging from furniture to clothing.
Coffee and Curators: Repatriation--The Learning NAGPRA Project December 9 In the U.S., institutions must comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA), which provides a pathway to return Native American ancestral remains and belongings to their descendants. The Learning NAGPRA project is a multi-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to address a gap in how people learn about the law and handle repatriation. April Sievert, former Director of IUMAA's Glenn Black Research Laboratory, discussed how project participants, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty and professionals from across the nation, collaborated to craft and assemble course content, resources, and research about NAGPRA and make it publicly accessible. The fourth of our Curators and Coffee series, the event featured a 10-minute talk by Dr. Sievert and a 10-minute question and answer session.
Coffee and Curators: Have You Heard of The Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory (GLOVE) Collection? November 11 The Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Ethnohistory (GLOVE) Collection is a one-of-a-kind assemblage of primary and secondary documents relating to the land use and occupancy of the Midwest region from point of contact to the 20th century. A team of researchers collected these documents in the 1950s and 1960s at Indiana University under the auspices of the Department of Justice as evidence in the Indian Claims Commission Cases. Kelsey Grimm, IUMAA Librarian and Archivist, presented the third of our “Coffee and Curators” series, discussing the history, use, and accessibility of this collection. The online event was free and open to the public.
First Thursdays November 4 IUMAA staff discussed "Land Acknowledgments" and their meaning during the year's final First Thursday.
Resilience and “The Indiana Way”: Using History to Understand Hoosiers’ Perspectives on Climate Change October 14 This online lecture by Elizabeth Grennan Browning considered the impact of that selective conservatism upon Indiana in our own time. Browning is a U.S. historian, focusing on environmental history, intellectual history, urban history and cultural history. She joined IU's Environmental Resilience Institute as the Midwestern/Indiana Community History Fellow after receiving her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. This event was free and open to the public, and sponsored by Themester 2021: Resilience, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.
Science Fest October 9 How do archaeologists know how old something is? Educators from the IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology were at Science Fest to talk stratigraphy, as well as other methods that help answer this question. The event was free and open to the public.
First Thursdays October 7 IUMAA staff were on hand to demonstrate and teach pumpkin carving with stone tools. The event was free and open to the public.
The World in Your Hand: Exhibiting the Global Stories of Cellular Technology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History October 6 Dr. Joshua A. Bell, Curator of Globalization and Acting Director of the National Anthropological Archives,discussed his collaborative research into the social realities of cellphone technology and his forthcoming exhibit, Cellphone: Unseen Connections, which examines the ecological, material, social, and cultural realities of our devices through examination of 1) the elements and minerals needed to build our devices and their various supply chains, 2) cellular infrastructure, 3) cultural diversity enabled by this technology, 4) issues around sustainability of cellular technology and 5) what the social implications of this technology is and might be.This talk was part of the series Resilience and Memory in Archives, Libraries, and Museums, presented by the Institute for Advanced Study. The online event was free and open to the public, and sponsored by Themester 2021: Resilience, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and co-sponsored by IUMAA.
Coffee and Curators: The Archaeology of Childhood at Wylie House September 30 Liz Watts Malouchos, of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, presented the second of our "Coffee and Curators" series, discussing the material traces and archival legacy of the children of Wylie House. Wylie House was the home of Andrew Wylie, Indiana University's (IU) first president, his wife Margaret, and 10 of their 12 children, who moved into Wylie House upon its completion in 1835. Later, Theophilus Wylie, Andrew's younger cousin and IU professor, his wife Rebecca, six of eight their children, and five of ten their grandchildren resided at Wylie House. The online event was free and open to the public.
Lotus in the Park September 25 IUMAA staff members participated in Lotus in the Park, a free multicultural arts and education event for kids, families, and community members. Visitors were able to explore the Middle Eastern tradition of khamsa, a hand-shaped design used for more than 2000 years to bring protection and good fortune.
Picking Up the Threads of Our Knowledge: Revitalization of Myaamia “Miami Indian” Language and Culture September 23 In the 1990s, the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma initiated a national effort to revitalize Myaamiaataweenki and created programs to help breathe new life into the language. The story of reclamation and revitalization of Myaamiaataweenki was presented in an online talk by George Ironstrack, citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Assistant Director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. This free online event was sponsored by Themester 2021: Resilience, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.
Coffee and Curators: Digital Archaeology--Global Information System (GIS) for Spatial Analysis and Site Preservation September 9 Our "Coffee and Curator" series kicked off with Christina Friberg, the IUMAA st-Doctoral Research Fellow and archaeologist who is co-curating our upcoming exhibition on Angel Mounds, presented an online discussion on how archaeologists use GIS to map sites and study the spatial relationships between artifacts and features found during excavation.
First Thursdays September 2 Duing the first First Thursday of the fall semester IUMAA celebrated the re-opening of the Lilly Library with paper marbling and bookmaking activities.
Virtual Dedication of IUMAA June 30 Former IU President Michael McRobbie hosted a virtual dedication of the IUMAA and the new Collections, Teaching, Research, and Exhibition Center.
Cultural Clues Written in Stone: Stone Tool Manufacture and Research April 8 Edward Herrmann, Executive Director of IUMAA,l presented a virtual demonstration that focused on the cultural information archaeologists and anthropologists can obtain from stone tool research.
D&D and Archaeology February 23 Kelsey Grimm, IUMAA Librarian, discussed how archaeology and anthropology are found in D&D, and how to incorporate them into RPG adventures.
Modern Warriors of World War I in the Wanamaker Collection November 11 Approximately 12,000 American Indians and Native Alaskans served in the US armed forces during World War I. Erin Fehr (Yup'ik), Archivist at the Sequoyah National Research Center at the University of Arkansas, explored the use of images from the IUMAA's Wanamaker Collection in researching their military participation.