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Ethnology

The ethnographic collections of the Museum of the Americas provide insight into the enormous cultural variety of Indigenous communities throughout the Americas.

Of the collections in this department, the oldest were collected during the 18th century by various European national scientific expeditions to the Americas and the Pacific Ocean. The first of these were destined for the Royal Cabinet of Natural History created by King Charles III.

From this first period, pieces from the cultures of North America’s Northwest Coast stand out, as well as those collected in Peru and Tierra del Fuego. As some expeditions were destined for Oceania and the Philippines, the museum also preserves valuable ethnographic items from these territories.

The Ethnology department focuses on the study of the tangible and intangible culture of the Indigenous societies of which it has collections, promotes public access so that people can come and learn about them and encourages respect for cultural diversity.

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