Artifacts Archive

Isis Figure

This bronze Egyptian figurine represents Isis, goddess of life and fertility, nursing her son Horus, the divine ancestor of the pharaohs.  It dates to the Late Dynastic Period, roughly 700 to ...

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Luba Headrest

Luba Headrest
This headrest is from the Luba people, a Bantu-speaking group who live in south central Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Headrests are popular throughout Central Africa as well as in other ...

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Japanese Kokeshi Dolls


Kokeshi are carved wooden dolls known for their slender bodies, round heads, and lack of limbs.  They first became popular in northern Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1868), when they were ...

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Chinese Spirit Money

Spirit money, also known as ghost money, is a form of joss paper, an offering used in traditional Chinese ancestor worship.  The burning of spirit money is the last ritual performed by a family ...

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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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