Margaret Mead

Part of Hall of Pacific Peoples.

In the Museum’s Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples, a war shield of wood and paint from New Guinea. Also photos including one of Huli men in Papua, New Guinea applying ceremonial face paint.

Anthropologist, explorer, writer, and teacher Margaret Mead taught Americans the value of looking at other cultures to understand the complexity of the human experience. She worked in the Museum's Division of Anthropology from 1926 until her death in 1978.

At age 23, Mead traveled to the South Pacific to carry out research for her doctoral dissertation. The resulting book, Coming of Age in Samoa, remains a best seller. Mead's work is largely responsible for the acquisition of the treasures in the hall that bears her name.