University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Wampum in Museum Collections: Tracking Broken Chains of Custody


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Film Description:Wampum belts are identified by federal legislation as iconic items of indigenous cultural patrimony, yet wampum in museum collections often appears to be only vaguely identifiable. For decades, collectors and curators represented these wampum belts as valuable antiquities, abstract art objects, and relics of vanished Indians—false representations that concealed historical origins and encouraged the physical alienation of tribal patrimony. In this lecture, Dr. Margaret Bruchac (Abenaki), Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, combines archival research with Indigenous consultation to recover far more coherent understandings of colonial events and Indigenous objects, past and present. Presented by the Penn Cultural Heritage Center.
Video Category:Lecture
Video Date:10/02/2014
Contributor: Margaret Bruchac
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