History

Inside NMAI

The exhibit might be open, but there is still a lot to do, especially on a major project 10 years in the making. Dr. Ramon Matos, co-curator of The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, continues to follow up with field research and discussions to bring the exhibit to the Andean homeland. Read more »

Herbert Dickey in the Devil’s Paradise

During the rubber boom before World War I, the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company ruled supreme along the Putumayo River between Peru and Colombia, brutally extorting labor from the Native population. Its atrocities became a worldwide scandal. Read more »

Taíno Survival

After largely dropping out of the written record, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean have returned with a vengeance. From the remote mountains of eastern Cuba to the boroughs of New York, a vibrant Taíno movement is proclaiming that they are still here. Ranald Woodaman discusses an upcoming exhibit on the contemporary lives of these peoples, the first to bring their story out of the realm of archaeology and pre-history Read more »

The Road to Kingsbridge

The British ambush of the Stockbridge Indian Company on Aug. 31, 1778, not only caused the death of dozens of Native allies of the American Revolution and their leaders Daniel Nimham and his son Abraham, it fatally weakened the long struggle of the Mohican and Munsee peoples to preserve their homeland. Read more »

Marking the 400th Anniversary

An international conference in London this past March marked the 400th year since the daughter of Powhatan, best known as Pocahontas, died in England on a tour arranged by promoters of the new Jamestown colony. The wide range of scholarship represented there is helping to lift the veil surrounding this iconic but much misrepresented young lady. Read more »

Access to the Past

The Yale Indian Papers Project is opening tribal archives to online research, but even more importantly, it is helping to win acknowledgment of tribal identity. Read more »

The Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon has historic meaning for Northeastern Indian runners, some of whom came to national prominence in this storied race and left an indelible mark on its route. For Indian Country, the race is a continuation of the great indigenous tradition of long-distance running. Read more »

Unearthing the Story of Tibes

When Hurricane Eloise brushed southern Puerto Rico in 1975, it uncovered an ancient ceremonial complex buried for more than seven centuries. L. Antonio Curet, the Museum’s Curator of Archaeology, reports on the changing interpretations of its picture of indigenous social structure. Read more »

100 Years and Counting

Recollections of the transition to a Smithsonian institution. Read more »

The Mystery of the Two Gudrids

A puzzling passage in the Norse account of an expedition to Vinland 1,000 years ago has recently been recognized as a nearly verbatim record of an encounter between the Icelandic heroine Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir and a young indigenous, probably Beothuk, girl. It tells of a missed chance for peaceful Contact. Read more »