Changing Exhibits

From the Edge of Center: The Chacoan Outliers

January 25, 2020 – September 5, 2020

The Chacoan Culture flourished between AD 860-1150 and was originally centered at Chaco Canyon in Northwestern New Mexico. The Chacoans built immense great houses and great kivas capable of hosting large groups of peoples for ceremonies and other public activities.

While Chacoan Culture was centered within the canyon, its influence extended much further out. Throughout the San Juan Basin to the north as well as far south as the Zuni Mountains, there can be found outlying great houses that share many of the same features as those in Chaco Canyon, although generally on a smaller scale. Outlying great houses and great kivas have been found at Aztec Ruin and Salmon Ruin, both dating to the mid-12th and early 13th centuries, which show clear evidence of not only the spread of the Chacoan system, but also the continuation of Chacoan traditions beyond the decline of the Chacoan Heartland after AD 1150.

The El Paso Museum of Archaeology is proud to present this exhibition in cooperation with Salmon Ruins and the San Juan County Museum Association.

From the edge of center the chacoan outliners


Enchanted Faces:
Latin American Mask Traditions

September 21, 2019 – February 8, 2020

The use of masks is a very ancient human practice that dates back thousands of years. Evidence of mask use in Latin America predates the arrival of Europeans with examples having been identified in Mesoamerica as well as in the Andes and North America. Following European conquest and the repression of the native cultures, pre-Columbian traditions began to merge with Christian rituals, a process that made the use of masks much more commonplace. Today from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos to Costa Rica’s giant Mascaradas, masks play a role in many festivals, both sacred and secular, throughout Latin America. Join us in an exploration of Latin American Masks and how they are used throughout the continent.

Diablitos Mask - Costa Rica

Image Credit: Costa Rican Diablito Mask  
Maria Fernandez (Boruca, 2009)
Balsa Wood and Acrylic
Collection of  George Maloof and Elieth Salazar-Alpizar