Culture and Community

The Culture and Community collection contains more than 60,000 artifacts representing the material culture of Colorado from American Indian peoples, the early Hispanic populations of the region after Spanish contact, and the people who have continually immigrated to Colorado, particularly from the 19th century to the present day. The Culture and Community collection includes Archaeology, Ethnography, Clothing, Textiles, and Personal Artifacts. Selected materials from the Culture and Community collection can be viewed on the History Colorado Online Collection.

The Archaeology collection consists of about 10,000 artifacts, including pottery, baskets, sandals, stone and bone tools, agricultural instruments, clothing, and personal adornments used by prehispanic peoples. It focuses on the Four Corners, Great Plains, and Great Basin cultures. Approximately one half of the artifacts are from the Mesa Verde region. History Colorado curates the first and fourth major collections made in the Mesa Verde region before archaeology became a well-organized discipline and before Mesa Verde National Park was established. These collections are known as the Wetherill Collection (acquired in 1890) and the Wilmarth Collection (acquired in 1893). In addition, the collection includes a small number of comparative objects from other prehistoric peoples of North America.

The Ethnography collection consists of artifacts from historic and contemporary American Indian, Hispanic, and world cultures. It includes pottery, basketry, beadwork, leatherwork, and textiles used by historic and contemporary American Indians, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups. The majority of the American Indian artifacts are from the forty-eight tribes that have been identified as having ancestral ties to Colorado. For example, there is pottery from Maria Martinez (Pueblo of San Ildefonso) as well as Dolly Naranjo Neikrug (Pueblo of Santa Clara) and several contemporary Ute artists. The Ute collection is the largest American Indian collection.

Clothing, Textiles, and Personal Artifacts
The Clothing, Textiles, and Personal Artifacts collection is comprised of jewelry, hats, shoes, and textiles including quilts, samplers, and other household blankets. Other everyday utilitarian objects used both historically and in the present day include trunks and suitcases, sewing and needlework tools, and many different types of items for personal adornment. The collection also includes a wide array of toys, dolls, and games both old and new, as well as items representing sports and sporting equipment, musical instruments, and camera equipment.