Milford Chandler Miami Collection

Milford Chandler was an automotive engineer and collector of American Indian material. He did most of his collecting between 1915 and 1926 while living in Chicago. The Miami material was collected by him in Peru, Indiana. The material includes a woman's robe, a pair of woman's leggings, a pair of men's leggings, and a hair ornament. The majority of the Miami were relocated in the 1800s to Oklahoma. Those who stayed in Indiana became largely acculturated into American society; as a result, material culture from the Indiana Miami is quite rare.

Navajo Rug Collection

The Navajo rug collection is the largest museum-held collection of its type in the state of Wisconsin, comprising over 200 rugs representing all major types, ages, and styles. As early as the 1800s, the Navajo were recognized for their high quality of weaving by both neighboring American Indian groups and the Spanish. The changing designs of the rugs have been influenced by trade and later, tourism. Several examples of these rugs can be seen in the Southwest exhibit on the 2nd floor.

Zingg-Bennett Tarahumara Collection

Robert Zingg and Wendell Bennett were graduate students at the University of Chicago when they led an anthropological expedition to study the Tarahumara in Chihuahua, Mexico for nine months in 1930-1931. The expedition was one of the first modern studies of remote Mexican Indians, and the work published from their studies is one of the few on a culture of Northern Mexico. The collection consists of approximately 400 items ranging from basic clothing and housewares to objects used for dances and ceremonies.

Chilkat Blanket

The Chilkat is a Tlingit band that lives in southeastern Alaska. Their blankets, woven from mountain goat wool and cedar bark, are five-sided, heavily fringed, and display stylized animal figure designs. During important ceremonies the blankets are worn as capes. The Chilkat blanket weaving tradition originated with the Tsimshian people who live south of the Chilkat, but the tradition spread to them through trade and marriage.

Cudahy-Massee African Collection

The Cudahy-Massee collection resulted from an expedition led by Milwaukee Public Museum Director Dr. Samuel A. Barrett in 1928-1929 to Sudan and British East Africa (the colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika, now Tanzania). The expedition was primarily sponsored by Burt A. Massee, a Chicago industrialist and Milwaukee native, and John Cudahy, a Milwaukee businessman.

Arkansas Ceramics Collection

There are 256 complete ceramic vessels from Arkansas in the Milwaukee Public Museum's collections, most dating to the Middle (AD 1200-1400) and Upper (AD 1400-European contact) Mississippian periods. A large portion of the collection came from three donors, C.W. Riggs, G.E. Pilquist, and T.M.N. Lewis. The first two were artifact collectors and dealers; Riggs's material has no provenience other than "Arkansas," but Pilquist's items were collected from the Carden Bottoms area in west-central Arkansas.

Aztalan Site Collection

Aztalan, located on the Crawfish River in south-central Wisconsin near present-day Lake Mills, is approximately 50 miles west of Milwaukee. Occupied from about AD 1100-1250, Aztalan is the northernmost known outpost of the Mississippian culture. The site consists of large earthen temple mounds, houses, and an enormous stockade that enclosed 20 acres of the site.

Padi-Heru mummy

The Museum's two Egyptian mummies, Djed-Hor and Padi-Heru, were acquired in 1887 and have been on display fairly regularly since that time. Both mummies came from Akhmim, Egypt and they were CT-scanned in 1986 and again in 2006. Padi-Heru is Ptolemaic (possibly 200-100 BC) and is probably under 30 years of age. He was a priest of the Min temple in Akhmim. (Min was the Egyptian ithyphallic god of fertility.)

Lizard

Darting through the forest on an island in the Caribbean, a previously unidentified species of lizard forages for ants and termites in rotten wood and leaves. Thanks to the efforts of two scientists, this tiny, colorfully spotted lizard finally has a name. But its future may not be as bright as its scales.

Riverside, Michigan Site Collection

The Riverside site is located in Menomonee, Michigan, just over the Wisconsin border in Upper Michigan. It is a cemetery and village site composed of about 52 burial pits with village material in among the pits. Riverside was first excavated in 1956 and 1957 by Albert Spaulding and again in 1961, '62, and '63 by a joint excavation by the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) and Oshkosh Public Museum. The majority of the finds from the site are now housed at the MPM. Over 2600 items were recovered from the 1960s excavations.