Native American Collection

Native American Collection

The Museum’s Northeast Native American Collection is comprised of more than 4000 artifacts. Although unknown to many scholars, this may be one of the finest collections of Native artifacts from the Eastern Woodland tribes, composed of objects that range from pre-contact archeological materials to the present day. Although many museums stopped collecting in the 1920s, The Museum’s Native collection has continued to grow. A grant in the late 1970’s allowed the Museum to purchase contemporary Native Arts, allowing us to trace the continuity and changes in the art forms of many cultures.


The Museum’s Native holdings from outside of the northeast, numbering approximately 3000 artifacts, contain representative samplings of objects that express the range of daily life activities of non-woodlands Native American cultures. Artifacts include cross-tribal examples of the same forms that appear in the Northeast Collection such as ring and pin games; objects that were the source for traditions which were or are integrated into Northeast cultures, such as the Plains feather bonnet and powwow drums; a sampling of objects that document contemporary life, such as Pow-wow T-shirts, and objects made by world-renowned artists, such as Maria Martinez, or objects owned by culture heroes such as Sitting Bull.

Browse the collection:

Pow Wow Drum and beaters, 1977

 

Pow Wow Drum and beaters, 1977

Vernon Lopez, Mashpee Wampanoag

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Cedar, hemp, hide, suede, flannel

Made for Boston Children's Museum's Pow Wow, 1977

INM 77-68

Silver Hatband, ca. 1850

 

Silver Hatband, ca. 1850

Passamaquoddy

Maine

Silver

Gift of Mrs. Kingsmill Marrs, 1923

INM 17

Picture Frame, ca. 1900

 

Picture Frame, ca. 1900

Tomah Joseph, Passamaquoddy

Princeton, Maine

Birchbark, spruce root, sweet grass

Gift of Mrs. Harry Butler, 1942

INM 1215

Black Ware Pottery, 1931

 

Black Ware Pottery, 1931

Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo

New Mexico

Clay, iron bearing slip

Gift of Mrs. Robert W. Sayles, 1931

INTP 1527

Headdress, ca. 1960

 

Headdress, ca. 1960

Edward Leonard Bayrd, Chief Eagle Claw, Narragansett

Wakefield, Massachusetts

Eagle feather, cloth, glass beads, ermine fur, swan feather, turkey feather, horse hair

Gift of the family of E. Leonard Bayrd, 1990

2009.92.23

Cranberry Scoop, ca. 1900

 

Cranberry Scoop, ca. 1900

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wood, metal

Donated by Eva De Grace Green, 1977

3NK 77-91

Peaked Cap, ca. 1850

 

Peaked Cap, ca. 1850

Penobscot

Maine

Wool felt broadcloth, silk ribbon, glass beads

INM 147

Shirt, ca. 1880

 

Shirt, ca. 1880

Lakota Sioux

North Dakota

Buckskin, glass beads, brass buttons

Gift of Margaret Melke, 1984

INQ 79-15

Moccasin, late 19th century

 

Moccasin, late 19th century

Caughnawaga

Niagara Falls, New York

Leather, velvet, glass beads

Gift of Mrs. Horatio Rogers, 1962

INM 62-4

Group of Ashsplint baskets

 

Group of Ashsplint baskets

 

Ashsplint Baskets (from left to right):

Basket, 1997

Delia Mitchell, Passamaquoddy

Maine

Ashsplint, sweetgrass Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1997

2009.12.1

 

Basket, 20th century

Penobscot or Passamaquoddy

Maine

Ashsplint, sweetgrass

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1976

INM 76-16

 

Basket, 1977

Josephine Bailey, Passamaquoddy

Pleasant Point, Maine

Ashsplint, sweetgrass

Purchased from Josephine Bailey with NEA Folk Arts Grant, 1977

INM 77-93

 

Basket, 1976

Filomene Nelson, Penobscot

Old Town, Maine

Ashsplint, sweetgrass

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1977

INM 76-162

 

Basket, 1997

Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy

Maine

Ashsplint, sweetgrass

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1996

2009.9.1

 

Basket, 1980s

Mary Adams, Mohawk

New York

Ashsplint, sweetgrass

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1992

2009.3.1

Men’s Regalia

 

Men’s Regalia

Men’s Regalia (from left to right)

Hair Ornament, 1977

Suzanne Fox, Pennacook

Brookline, Massachusetts

Feather, glass beads, leather

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1977

INM 77-52

 

Beaded Choker, 1981

Suzanne Fox, Pennacook

Brookline, Massachusetts

Leather, bone, shell, metal, glass beads

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1981

INM 83-7

 

Man's Ribbon Shirt, 1977

Suzanne Fox, Pennacook

Brookline, Massachusetts

Cotton, grosgrain ribbon, glass beads

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1977

INM 77-188

 

Baseball Cap, 1986

Elena Pollard, Mashpee Wampanoag

Massachusetts

Nylon, plastic beads

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1986

2009.46.1

 

Baseball Cap, 1987

Alice Lopez, Mashpee Wampanoag

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Rayon, glass beads, plastic

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1987

INM 87-1

Pipe Bag, 19th-20th century

Cree

Rawhide, beads

Accessioned 1921

INQ 927