Artifact of the Month

Japanese Carp Streamers

Carp StreamersIn Japan, May 5 is Children’s Day, known as Kodomo-no-hi, which celebrates the health and happiness of children.  Though it was previously known as Boy’s Day, the date was made a national ...

Categories: Artifacts

Uzbek Suzani Textile

Suzani Textile
Made of silk and cotton, textiles like this one are referred to as suzani, which comes from the Farsi word for needle.  Though they are found across Central Asia, the textiles originated in ...

Categories: Artifacts

Chinese Changsha Ware Bowl

Chansha Ware Bowl
This bowl is an example of Changsha Ware from the Tongguan Kilns near the city of Changsha in modern-day Hunan Province, China.  Changsha Ware is a durable watertight type of pottery known as ...

Categories: Artifacts

Baule Wooden Door

Baule Wooden DoorThis wooden door from the Ivory Coast was made by the Baule people in the mid-20th century.  Known as anuan, such doors are carved with a variety of motifs as decorative embellishments for both ...

Categories: Artifacts

Dog Tooth Necklace

Dog Tooth Necklace

In pre-colonial Papua New Guinea, animal teeth, like the dog teeth in this necklace, were used as an exchange medium.  They were also used for aesthetic adornment, similar to gold or gems in ...

Categories: Artifacts

Taino Bat Zemi

Taino Bat Zemi

The Taino are indigenous people of the Caribbean and the first Native group to encounter Columbus.  For the Taino, the term zemi can refer to a deity or ancestral spirit as well as the object ...

Categories: Artifacts

Adinkra Cloth

Adinkra Cloth

The Akan people of Ghana often decorate their textiles, like this cloth, with Adinkra symbols.  These symbols have been used for centuries to express different aesthetic themes such as ...

Categories: Artifacts

Mexican La Catrina Figure

La CatrinaLa Catrina is a skeletal woman who portrays a maid dressed in her mistress’s fancy clothes for a night out.  Illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1851-1913) created La Catrina to remind people ...

Categories: Artifacts

Buddhist Divination Text

Thai Divination Text
This Buddhist divination text is from Thailand and is likely at least 100 years old.  Written in Old Thai, the text describes the six realms of existence in the Samsara, or cycle of rebirth, ...

Categories: Artifacts

Lakota Sioux Moccasins


Moccasins are the typical footwear for Plains Indians, such as the Lakota Sioux, as well as other Native groups across the United States.  Hard moccasins, like this child’s pair, originated ...

Categories: Artifacts

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