Ethnology


ASM's ethnological collections represent over 400 different culture groups, with more than one-third from the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Databases for the approximately 40,000 specimens, dating from the 1880s to the 1980s, are available in-house for public research purposes.

What's Inside the Collection

Southwestern ethnological collections consist primarily of basketry, pottery, textiles. katsina carvings, carved masks, jewelry, and beadwork, including:

  • One of the largest collections of Seri materials;
  • An extensive Navajo textile collection that includes one of the largest rugs ever woven;
  • A large and extremely well-documented collection of Western Apache materials;
  • Over 3,000 ethnographic items from northwest Mexico, including pottery, basketry, and textiles; and
  • More than 600 outstanding examples of Mexican folk masks and 400 folk costumes.

Ethnological collections also contain a wide variety of utilitarian objects such as household tools, musical instruments, and weapons.

In addition to the collections from the southwestern United States, ASM holds collections of Native Plains and Great Lakes beadwork, Mexican masks, Philippine pottery, and select examples of African and Oceanic sculpture.

Contact Information

Diane Dittemore
Ethnological Collections Curator
Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
PO Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
520-621-2079

Note: Ethical guidelines prevent us from providing appraisals for privately owned materials. Download a list of resources (PDF).