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Grant number: PG-232658-16

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Karuk Tribe of California (Happy Camp, CA 96039-1016)
Carolyn Smith (Project Director: April 2015 to present)

Preserving Karuk Collections from UV Light Damage

Staff training in monitoring and control of the museum environment and purchase of supplies to improve lighting conditions for a tribal collection of basketry, ceremonial regalia, archaeological materials, and historic photographs.  The collections, housed at the Karuk Tribe People‚Äôs Center, document Karuk life and culture in the pre-contact and historic periods, and include shell, nut, and bead necklaces; clothing made of animal skins; historic photographs; as well as over 100 examples of renowned Karuk basket weaving.  The northern California collection is used by tribal members and Karuk language speakers, and for research, education, and public programming.

This project focuses on ethnographic and archaeological collections of the Karuk Tribe People's Center. The collection contains basketry, ceremonial regalia, lithic materials and historical photos acquired through donations, purchase, repatriation, and family loans. Objects are from pre-contact village sites, late 19th century ceremony, and contemporary Karuk artists. The collection is considered to be sacred and living: strict cultural protocols govern care and use of regalia and other objects of power. Certain sacred objects are danced and brought to the World Renewal Ceremonial practice known as pikyavish. The collection is also used by contemporary weavers and regalia makers, by language speakers, and by researchers interested in Karuk heritage and culture. This project will preserve the collections both in storage and in museum gallery through purchase and use of UV-filtered lights in accordance with recommendations in our 2008 Museum Conservation Assessment.

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 5/31/2019