Cultures Up Close

Native American Heritage Month: Make & Play the Bean Game

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month here’s a game to play with loved ones during the holidays. The origins of many Native American games are related to spiritual beliefs. Games were played ceremonially to bring rain, ensure good harvests, cure illness, expel evil spirits, or please the gods by demonstrating physical fitness.  With variations and […]

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Create a Nicho

Dating back to the Spanish Colonial period, nichos are a type of folk art popular throughout Central and South America. They began as an adaptation of the Roman Catholic ‘retablo’, which is a painting of a patron saint on wood or tin. In different places, nichos may be called by a local name or still called […]

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Summer Fun: Make a Spinning Top

To celebrate summer, this month we’re going to have fun learning about and making spinning tops. History Spinning tops developed independently in cultures all over the world. They are among the oldest recognizable toys found by archaeologists and have been found on every continent except Antarctica. Tops found in China date from around 1250 BCE. […]

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Papua New Guinea: Make a Shell Necklace

To celebrate May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this segment explores a few more of the museum’s objects from Papua New Guinea. You can see our previous post about how to make a drum from Papua New Guinea here. Papua New Guinea is one the world’s least explored countries because of its […]

Categories: Cultures Up Close


Yoruba: Create a Royal Crown

For centuries the Yoruba people have shared a common language and culture but have never been a single united group.  It is believed they migrated from Central Africa to their present locations in West Africa over a thousand years ago. The Yoruba established numerous kingdoms, which were centered around a capital city or town and […]

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