NAm 02488

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us

Human clay figure

Americas, USA, New Mexico, Cochiti Pueblo

Prior to 1898


Collector unknown to us

Means of accession unknown to us

NAm 02488

Shown here is a clay figurine from Cochiti Pueblo. These figurines, made after c. 1870, are considered a social critique on 19th-century changes in New Mexico. In doing so, women potters interpreted the non-Indigenous people their men encountered outside the pueblos. Even after 300 years of colonial rule, Pueblo culture had remained intact in relative isolation. Fascination with pueblos triggered a rush of visitors when Santa Fe was connected to the railroad network (1880), which the Pueblos soon opposed. Today, ethnologists also speak of a "Pueblo Iron Curtain" (e.g. tourism restrictions through photo prohibitions, no public access to ceremonies, turning away field researchers).

The previous owners of this piece cannot be determined. Beginning in 1869, the museum amassed large collections from many regions of the world, but it was not until the 1890s that scholars were hired to systematically inventorize the holdings. Even during the first inventories of the 1880s, it was often only possible to state that no documentation whatsoever existed for the delivery of some objects. Thus, this figurine also represents several large collections with the provenance note "unknown."

Frank Usbeck