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Metalwork from Patagonia (Tenth to Nineteenth Centuries): Origins, Uses, and Distribution of Silverwork Jewelry

Paz Núñez-Regueiro, Musée du quai Branly, Summer Fellow 2016–2017

I completed the chronological classification of Patagonian native jewelry, based on archaeological and ethnographic material. The library’s resources provided significant new material from archaeological reports of excavations in Patagonia, as well as travel accounts and sources from the colonial and modern periods. These enriched my current inventory of pre-Hispanic and postconquest silver jewelry and enabled me to identify museum collections for future silverwork analysis. The main outcome of this systematic approach has been to specify in more detail the uses and practices related to jewelry in time and space, working on ceremonial versus daily-use and gender, and allowed me to establish formal regional identities. I benefited from wide-ranging discussions with colleagues on metallurgy, museum practices of collecting and producing knowledge, and pan-American subjects related to the collections I manage at the Musée du quai Branly. I completed writing in progress, and submitted an article and a short essay. I benefited greatly from visits to the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History, which offered insights into American academic institutions.