This research explores current perspectives on the placement and treatment of Native American funerary materials in museum collections, as well as how museum professionals navigate the associated legal, ethical, and cultural considerations of these collections. Of primary concern for the present study is the Mimbres painted pottery vessels from the American Southwest and their associated burial context. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews with various professionals working within and with museums that either have Mimbres collections or those that have relevant experience with Native American materials in museum collections. Patterns of meaning within discussions concerning Mimbres pottery were captured and organized using qualitative content analysis. The findings of this research are largely consistent with issues discussed in the literature review, although additional factors related to the ability of museums and Indigenous communities alike to engage in consultation necessary to repatriation and/or ethical and cultural considerations concerning funerary materials were also evident and were arguably of greatest concern relative to Mimbres collections.
Date of Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Vang, R. (2019). Mimbres painted pottery: Art, artifact, or ancestor? Conversations concerning repatriation, treatment, and considerations for contested collections in museums [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/911/
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