Curator’s Corner

Curator’s Corner: Purslane

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections As spring springs around here it makes me think of all the green things I have missed over the winter that are now starting to bud and come back to life. Here is to one of my favorites, and some green I can’t wait to see! This week we…

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Curator’s Corner: Agave

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections As we continue on with our gifts of the West series I want to talk about one of those gifts that keeps on giving. It gives us fiber, food, booze, awls, needles. I mean what can’t this baby do? I am talking about our friend: Agave. Agave has been…

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Curator’s Corner: Cranberries

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections As part of our ongoing series about all the good stuff that came from the west I present to you: The Cranberry. What would our turkey be without our beloved cranberry? Especially all the leftover turkey sandwiches that follow Thanksgiving (Not to mention a well-made Cosmopolitan…). Cranberries are native…

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Curator’s Corner: The Pineapple

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections We continue on with our series about all good things that originated in the Western Hemisphere I present to you: the pineapple! The pineapple was indigenous to South America but spread wherever it could grow, which is a pretty limited tropical region, by the time of contact. The Azteca…

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George McJunkin

Curator’s Corner: George McJunkin, Unsung Archaeology Hero

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections George McJunkin was born a slave in Midway, Texas. When he was about 10, the Civil War ended and he and his family were freed. He was born into a ranch and cowboy life and spent most of his life in the saddle. Mr. McJunkin worked at several ranches…

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Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert

Curator’s Corner: Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert – NM Foodways Pioneer

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections Today for my book “report”” as it may be I would like to do something a bit unusual, emphasize just one author. Her name was Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert, she lived almost 100 years and was one of the great advocates for New Mexico’s rural people and it’s…

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Curator’s Corner: Chile

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections There are certain cuisines and specific foods that are almost impossible to imagine without chile. Thai and Chinese cuisine, pasta arrabiata, I mean what did they even do in Szechuan before they had chiles? Before contact, there wasn’t any chile to be had outside of the Americas. It’s hard…

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Flowering Yucca

Curator’s Corner: Yucca

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections We eat it, use it for fiber, use it for needles and awls, make sandals out of it, make soap out of it, we just love the many uses of Yucca! Yucca is the state plant of New Mexico — it grows throughout most of the Americas but most…

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Curator’s Corner: Spindle Whorls

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections Here is a little insight on an overlooked object, but one that helped keep us clothed for a very long time. Spindles are long sticks used to spin yarn, and the Spindle Whorl is the weighted piece at the end that helps maintain the spindles speed and spin. Spindle…

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Curator’s Corner: Adobe—The Mud You Can Live In

by Amanda Mather, Curator of Collections Adobe — who doesn’t love the stuff? Talk about an easy-to-find resource — it’s literally everywhere. Adobe was the first construction material used by homo sapiens — to this day, 50% of the world’s people still live in some form of mud dwelling. When people quit chasing big animals…

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