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Ethnographic Resources

From the mid-1850s to the early 1900s, ethnographic researchers traveled to villages to speak with Native American people. They interviewed local residents and recorded names, family relationships, locations of travel, and descriptions of events and daily life such as cooking, food gathering, and social interactions. Often they recorded vocabulary and language lists, took sketches and photographs, and bought or received material culture items such as baskets and clothing.

Museums, universities, libraries, and archives contain a wide range of ethnographic documents, including interview notes and recordings, travel diaries, photograph collections, language lists, and baskets, often all collected together in a single ethnographer's research files. Many of these are also described separately in other parts of our Road Map.