KAW COLLECTION AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
In 1909 Mark Raymond Harrington was sent to Indian country to purchase as much history of the Indians that could be obtained. He had the money and the means do this. The collection for years was in a private museum and library in New York. In the 1990s the Smithsonian was given an opportunity to purchase this large collection. After the cataloging, cleaning and packaging the artifacts, the collection was moved to Virginia.
When the American Indian Museum opened on the Mall at Washington, D.C., Harrington was able to put together a 200-piece collection from the Kaw/Kanza people. The photographs below are from the collections held in open storage in Virginia. Few of these are displayed at the Museum in D.C.; however, you may contact the Museum and ask for a tour at the Virginia complex.
We have requested a showing of this collection at the Kanza Museum in Kaw City, Okla. Hopefully, within the near future, this will happen. Please keep in mind the Harrington Collection was a gifted/purchased collection and has very little recourse to obtain or return items to the tribe.
Kanza Museum Director