Artifact of the Month

Ethiopian Coptic Icon


This rare Ethiopian Coptic icon features images of important saints carved into stone.  Icons like this one, also known as prayer boxes, are used for devotional purposes, often as offerings on ...

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Mexican Papel Picado

Mexican Papel PicadoPapel picado is a traditional Mexican folk art of colorful tissue paper cut with intricate designs.  Artists string the individual papers to form banners that are used for a number of holidays ...

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Zuni Fetish

This small carving, known as a fetish, came from the native people of Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. The bear is a depiction of a Zuni animal god, which, in fetish form, holds the spirit of the ...

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Bedouin Rug

This Bedouin rug was purchased in Amman, the capital of Jordan, but made in the ancient town of Madaba. Bedouin weavers make many items suited to a mobile life including rugs, pillows, and other ...

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Yam Mask

This yam mask comes from the Saragum #2 village in the Maprik area of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. In this area, the cultivation of long yams, which can grow to a length of 12 feet, is ...

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Initiation Mask

This mask, which resembles a bird, comes from the Yaka people, who live in southwestern Congo in central Africa. This type of mask is used in initiation rituals for young men. Click the link to ...

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Bontoc Axe

This early-20th century axe comes from the Bontoc people of the Philippines. In the past, the Bontoc practiced headhunting, beheading their enemies during warfare with axes like this one. Click ...

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Inca Ceramic Container

This type of Inca ceramic vessel was used to store and transport chicha, a fermented corn beer, as well as water and other foods. Click the link to learn more.

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Japanese Belt Ornament

Belt ornaments such as this one are known as netsuke. Used to fasten belongings to a belt, the elaborately carved ornaments also served as symbols of the wearer’s class, wealth, and taste. ...

Categories: Artifacts

Yup'ik Snow Goggles

These snow goggles were made by the Yup’ik people in the Kuskokwim River Valley of Alaska. Known as i-guak, the goggles are carved from a single piece of wood with only small slits to see ...

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