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Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

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Wednesday - Sunday
2 time slots,
9:00am - 12:00pm and 1:30pm - 4:30pm

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




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


Cranberry Scoop, ca. 1900


Cranberry Scoop, ca. 1900

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wood, metal

Donated by Eva De Grace Green, 1977

3NK 77-91

Pipe Bag, 19th-20th century


Rawhide, beads

Accessioned 1921

INQ 927

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