Botanical Photo

The Anthropology Collections


African Collections
The Luella Buros Collection
Native American Collections
Plains Tribes Comparative Collection
East Asian Collections
South American Collections
The Pacific
Egyptian collections
Plains archaeology

The Anthropology Division curates worldwide ethnological and archaeological collections. The ethnological collection includes over 40,000 artifacts, with particular regional strength in Africa, Native North America, Oceania, and the upper Amazon, and notable holdings worldwide in textiles, basketry, and pottery. Plains material includes representative artifacts from about 1900 as well as contemporary objects. One of the highlights is an incised and painted burden strap dating to the mid-19th century. The collection of Southwestern pottery begins with pieces believed to have been shown at the Trans-Mississippian Exposition in 1898, and ends with recent works by Lonnie Vigil, Lucy Yearflower, Gregory Lonewolf, and others. There is also a good range of Native American basketry.

The African collection of over 2,800 objects beginning with field collected materials from the 1920s; and incorporates the full range of material culture such as clothing, ornaments, household goods and sculpture. The photographic collection begins with glass plate negatives from Rhodesia in 1903-4 and includes thousands of Kodachrome slides from the 1950s and 1960s. In 2002, the slides were used for a historical species distribution study, providing “direct proof for past localities of mammal species on the continent.”

The Philippine collection numbers over 832 artifacts, including 4 lantakas collected by J.J. Pershing during the Spanish-American War, as well as edged weapons, basketry, pottery and metalwork from Pershing, Wm. Jennings Bryan, and other collectors. The Samoan collection is dominated by over 150 pieces collected by L.W. Osborn, once Consul General of Samoa. The rest of the Oceania collection emphasizes weaponry dating from the late 19th century including objects from the Maori, Gilbert Islands, Cook Islands, etc.

The upper Amazon collection concentrates on material beginning in the 1960s. It includes artifacts from the Shipibo, Conibo, Campa, Cocama, Bora and others. There is also Jivaro featherwork and a set of Mundurucu feather ornaments dating to the turn of the century. The field photographs of Donald W. Lathrap document his investigations of central Ucayali pottery production in the 1960s.

The archaeological collection focuses on Nebraska archaeology, beginning with W.D. Strong's excavations in the 1930s. The collection is particularly strong in Paleoindian materials including the collections from the Scottsbluff, Lipscomb and Clary bison kills. The Egyptian collection of over 300 artifacts includes three mummies. There is also a representative collection from the Central Andes including three mummies from the South Coast of Peru.


Mummy found in royal burial ground at Thebes
and brought to Nebraska in 1885 by Rominger.
Photo from Museum Archives.

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