Revisiting the Rubber-Sided Museum: A Case Study in Collections-Based Research

Author(s): Klinton Burgio-Ericson

Year: 2018


Archaeological repositories abound in significant but overlooked collections. This paper presents a case study based in one such collection: the Hendricks-Hodge Expedition to the ancestral Zuni pueblo of Hawikku, NM (1917-1923), which accumulated 25,000 artifacts now in the NMAI, many remaining unstudied. Drawing on current interdisciplinary research into its seventeenth-century Spanish mission, this paper considers challenges of extracting new interpretations from older collections. Research revisiting underutilized collections proffers opportunity for new questions, expanding insight, and refining disciplinary history. In particular, Hawikku’s mission remains and primary sources indicate its residence was a working and living space for Native laborers alongside Spanish Franciscans, comprising an everyday arena of cultural negotiation. Revisiting overlooked collections also furnishes occasion for collaboration with source communities, often excluded from the original research. Multi-level engagement with Zuni Pueblo informs this research project, increasing its relevance to community concerns, and enriching Smithsonian collections data for future use. When financier Harmon Hendricks wrote in 1918 that the Museum of the American Indian should build expanding rubber walls to contain the large collections from Hawikku, he exposed the expedition’s acquisitive motive but also presaged their rich and ongoing potential for research a century later.

Cite this Record

Revisiting the Rubber-Sided Museum: A Case Study in Collections-Based Research. Klinton Burgio-Ericson. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443966)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20416