The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.
This description is from Dirk, the museum’s curator of anthropology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent human cultures throughout time and around the world, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org – throughout the year.
Child sandal, Basketmaker culture, SW US
This child’s sandal represents daily life, an aspect that tends to get short shrift in archaeological exhibits, where the life of the rich and famous tended to dominate.
This simple, fragile, everyday object, however, brings home that people living in what is now the Southwest US had recognizable possessions, like this prehistoric flip flop. A child once wore it and lost it. Undoubtedly this must have provoked the anger of his or her parents. Nothing much has changed in that regard over the last 1000 years.
Explore thousands of years of Native American history in the John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas, a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.