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During two years of fieldwork in the American West in the 1880s, the Dutch anthropologist Hermann ten Kate (1858–1931) assembled a sizable collection of Native American artifacts. These pieces, ranging from utilitarian tools to exquisite works of art, are important especially because of their well-documented collection history and early date of acquisition. Some of the objects—the vast majority of which are today housed in the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden—represent the oldest preserved specimens of their kind. This catalog presents the complete collection and places the artifacts in their cultural and historical context by drawing on Ten Kate’s own travel diaries and anthropological studies spanning more than a century of research, as well as Native American oral traditions.
About the Author
Pieter Hovens is curator of the North American Department at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Netherlands. His publications include studies on Hermann ten Kate’s life and work, Native American material culture, Indian-white relations, and gypsy studies.