The Challenge of Native American Art and Material Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Vast quantities of published and archival information on Native American/First Nation visual arts, crafts, and material culture exist. Researchers must be knowledgeable about numerous disciplines if they are is to perform a minimally adequate job when working on specific research problems. Professional works appear under the aegis of several disciplines such as anthropology, Native American studies, art history, history, economics, geography, American studies, folklore, and regional studies. In addition, articles are found in semi‐professional and popular journals and in difficult‐to‐find exhibition catalogues. Scholars find it difficult to locate relevant sources due to the sheer number of references and their scattered nature. In this brief paper I analyze this increasingly serious problem from the researcher's point of view by discussing the central tasks involved in conducting research, especially with regard to available bibliographic and reference sources. Examples will be drawn from my own experience in constructing an annotated bibliography for Southwest Native American arts, crafts, and material culture. It is hoped that the suggested strategies will assist future studies with library research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-29
Number of pages18
JournalMuseum Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Museology

Cite this