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Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Pre-Columbian and Native American Art

The museum’s Pre-Columbian and Native American Art collection provides an introduction to the major Pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica (the area from northern Mexico to the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica) and Peru and a sampling of objects from the Intermediate Area (the region between Mesoamerica and Peru) along with a smaller selection of artworks from indigenous cultures of North America. Most Pre-Columbian cultures had disappeared long before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century, so much of our information about them comes from objects and architectural remains that were left behind, as interpreted by scholars. Unfortunately, most objects in art museum collections, including the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s, were not found in controlled excavations, and thus much information about them has been lost forever.