(Re)lating Archaeological Collections: Hodinöhsö:ni' Art, Colonialist Histories, and Indigenous Futurities in Archaeological Research


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art




This dissertation mobilizes an Indigenous methodologies-led intersection of archaeology, art history, and digital humanities to generate new possibilities within archaeological collections and to act as a reclamation of material culture and histories for Indigenous communities. Employing a framework of archaeological (re)lating, this project centers relationships as its theoretical axis, informing both the inception of this project and its methodologies. This project focuses on Hodinöhsö:ni' carved decorative hair combs from archaeological sites dating from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries as art and artifact, exploring both their individual artistic elements as well as their position within broader archaeological assemblages and histories. The collaborative study of these combs, resulting in both a scholarly re-interpretation of histories and a community-led digital collection of art and knowledge, demonstrates the possibilities of archaeology to (re)late and (re)map Indigenous materials and to serve as a site of Indigenous futurities in opposition to colonialist narratives.