Ethnographic Collections

The Peabody Museum's ethnographic holdings are among the best in the World and contribute to the Peabody's standing as a world-class research institution. The vast collection contains especially fine holdings from North America, Africa, and Oceania, as well as objects from Asia, Central and South America, and Europe.

North America

Sioux moccasins

Beadwork moccasins attributed to the Oglala Sioux. Photo by Hillel Burger. PM 19-17-10/87391.

  • Garments and hunting equipment, Arctic.
  • Quillwork, baskets, wampum, and canoes, Northeast.
  • Items collected by Lewis and Clark, Plains.
  • Chitimacha baskets, Louisiana.
  • Pueblo ceramics from nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Southwest.


Harley mask with stripe

Mano face mask, Liberia, circa 1930s. Harley collection. Photo by Mark Craig. PM 37-77-50/2791.

  • Early nineteenth-century objects from the Boston Museum Collection.
  • Harley Liberian mask collection.
  • Musical instruments.


Hawaiian headdress

Crested helmet, Hawaii, 19th century. Photo by Hillel Burger. PM 99-12-70/53559.

  • Artifacts from the Dani, Asmat, and Sepik River area and Papuan Gulf of New Guinea.
  • Maori carved door panels, bowls, and human figures.
  • Tapa figures and carved wood statues from Easter Island.


Samurai face armor

Samurai face mask from Japan. PM 35-111-60/1594.

  • Early collections of Ainu robes, leggings, prayer sticks, baskets, etc.
  • Japanese ceramics from Edward S. Morse and Henrietta Page.
  • Middle Eastern daggers, bridle ornaments, and ceramics.

South America

effigy pot


Contemporary ceramic effigy vessel, Shipibo. PM 980-10-30/10552.

  • Objects from the Agassiz expeditions of 1870s and 1880s, including Amazonian featherwork.

Central America

Oaxancan ceramic incensario

Ceramic incensario, Oaxaca, Mexico. Gift of Alice P. Melvin. PM 993-24-20/27392.

  • Carved and painted masks from Mexico and Guatemala.


Norway Drinking Cup

Drinking cup, Norway. PM 06-12-40/65852.

  • Several collections from Scandinavia.
  • The Ehrich collection from Yugoslavia.

 Other Links of Interest

Access Collections

Research visits to the Peabody Museum are by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance. See Research Visits for additional information.