On View

Sep 2, 2017 - Sep 3, 2018

Curated By

Rob Sidner

These ancient beads and beaded objects from Mexico, Central and South America are expressions of daily, festival and ritual life among people.

A selection from the Museum’s holdings of ancient beads and beaded objects from Mexico, Central and South America. These are expressions of daily, festival and ritual life among people living in civilizations prior to the arrival of Europeans in the so-called New World, that is pre-1,515 or so AD. Though reproduction ancient beads and outright fakes abound in the world today, experts have assessed the Museum’s collection and have judged what you see here as authentically old. For many of us there is a powerful allure to contact with things that are truly old, for they put us in touch with our human ancestors of long ago and with mostly-lost civilizations of earlier ages.

In most cases, only smatterings of information are available about these adornments; but this little, plus the clear beauty of materials, design and craftsmanship, invite each viewer to admire the skills and sensibility of the early craftsmen of the Americas from whom these intriguing and alluring objects have been handed down to us to enjoy and wonder at today.