Tesuque Delegation Visits

On November 28-29, 2018, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Division of Anthropology, welcomed representatives of the Pueblo of Tesuque from north central New Mexico. Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Tesuque Pueblo has stood on its present location since 1200 A.D. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tesuque Pueblo is a traditional Tewa-speaking tribe known for its distinctive pottery.

The delegation came to AMNH to view Tesuque ethnographic pieces, review historical photographs held in the Special Collections Library, and plan for potential repatriation claims under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The visit continues an ongoing open and productive dialog between Puebloan communities and the Museum.

Six people pose in a row and stand in front of a table with six figurine artifacts and additional items laid out on trays.
Pueblo of Tesuque representatives visit the AMNH’s anthropology collections. Left to right: Joseph Herrera, Michael Vigil, Leland Vigil, Bernard Mora, Mark Mitchell, and Larry Samuel
Roderick Mickens/© AMNH
Five people stand over an open collections drawer holding pairs of moccasins.
Larry Samuel, Michael Vigil, Mark Mitchell, Joseph Herrera, and Leland Vigil examine beaded moccasins in the Museum’s North American ethnographic collection. AMNH houses ethnographic items representing the peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific Islands.
Roderick Mickens/© AMNH
Members of the Pueblo of Tesuque delegation review 85 ethnographic Tesuque pieces encompassing a range of artifacts that includes pottery, ceramic figures, textiles, headdresses, war clubs, and drums. The majority of these items were collected in the first decade of the 20th century during Museum-funded expeditions to better understand the cultures of the American southwest.
R. Mickens/©AMNH
Mark Mitchell, Bernard Mora, and Larry Samuel examine a decorated Tesuque pottery bowl behind two tables holding wooden trays full of pottery pieces.
Mark Mitchell, Bernard Mora, and Larry Samuel take a closer look at a decorated Tesuque pottery bowl with a handle. Tesuque pottery is made in a range of distinctive shapes and patterns that continue to be held in high artistic esteem.
Roderick Mickens/©AMNH
Bernard Mora, Joseph Herrera, and Michael Vigil unwrap the edges of a fringed pair of hide men's leggings collected in 1899. The red and green textiles adjacent to these pieces are a woman's belt and legging ties, whose colors represent the agricultural traditions of the Tesuque people: red for the sunset and green for a farmer’s field.
R. Mickens/©AMNH