Textiles  of the North American Southwest
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Navajo Blanket
New Mexico

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Dignitaries This blanket was purchased in 1881 from Ganado Mucho by Matilda Coxe Stevenson. Stevenson (1849–1915) was the first female anthropologist to work in the southwestern United States and the first hired by the U.S. government. She began her research career after her marriage in 1872 to James Stevenson, a scientist and explorer affiliated with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology. Stevenson accompanied her husband on many expeditions to the American West and was largely responsible for writing his reports. Like him, she was appointed to the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology. After his death in 1888, she continued her own research, producing a number of important studies focused primarily on the cultures of the Pueblos of New Mexico. In 1904, she began spending much of her time at a ranch she purchased near San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, which she used as a research base until her death.

Top: Matilda Stevenson, ca. 1870, Washington, D.C. Photographer: C.M. Bell. National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, neg. no. 56196

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