Living Cultures

Archaeological ruins in the outline of a house, with trees and mountains in the background

What Ancient Houses Tell Us About McMansions and Inequality

It’s not hard to tell rich neighborhoods from poor neighborhoods. Wealthy parts of town generally have nicer cars, clean, well-groomed lawns, and, most strikingly, giant sprawling mansions. It’s nothing new: across cultures, wealth and power have been tied to large homes for thousands of years.  

Two images, one of a man with braids in a chef's coat plating several identical dishes; and several cobs of corn of different colors laid out flat

The Sioux Chef: Reinvigorating Indigenous Food Systems

Images: Sean Sherman by Rina Oh for the James Beard Foundation; corn cobs from Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in the Museum's collection.  By Monica Rickert-Bolter, volunteer for the North American Anthropology Program People are growing more concerned with what they put into their bodies, and it’s not just because they’re trying to keep the pounds off. Americans constantly debate which foods should be restricted and which are acceptable to consume to remain healthy.

A woman sitting at a dashboard in front of many computer screens

Women in Science: Alaka Wali, Curator of North American Anthropology

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from Alaka Wali, curator of North American anthropology collections:       How did you get to where you are?  

Sights and Sounds of a Gallery

What goes into creating multimedia pieces for a museum gallery? In our exhibition, Drawing on Tradition: Kanza Artist Chris Pappan, the Museum collaborated with Chris Pappan, Adam Sings In The Timber, Debra Yepa-Pappan and Santiago X to create the immersive experience that brings the exhibition to life. Chris shared the following about putting together the audio and video for the show:

Four dried corn cobs that are shades of purple, orange, and brown

The Amazing Journey of Maize

Alaka Wali is a Curator of North American Anthropology. In 1621, the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists of Plymouth shared a feast that, today, is widely viewed as the very first Thanksgiving in the colonies of America. This three-day long fall festival celebrated their bountiful harvest and an alliance that would last for over 50 years. With modern traditions of turkeys, parades, and pies, we often lose sight of the true story of those early encounters between the Native peoples and the Mayflower settlers.

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