Ethnographic objects are common in many museums and private collections. When documenting these collections, recording the cultural context is important. In addition to the aesthetic qualities, ethnographic objects are collected for the information they hold about the people who made them. Recognizing the importance of comprehensively recording these cultural items, CatalogIt has created an authoritative Ethnography Profile to record both the cultural region and the tribe/culture who made or used the items. 

The “Ethnography” expansion panel is just below the “Made/Created” expansion panel and includes “Cultural Region” and “Culture/Tribe” Profile fields as well as a free text “Notes” field.

Ethnography Expansion Panel

These profile fields allow you to be as specific as possible when recording this important information. The Profile fields are pre-populated with a number of general cultural regions throughout the world. Recognizing that every collection is representative of very different cultural affiliations, each user is able to easily add to their own list of Cultural Regions by clicking the "+" symbol at the right side of the field.

Type and select Region or create new

They are hierarchical, so you can create new regions that are sub-regions of larger areas or more expansive regions that are the “parents” of more specific regions. For example, ”Central California” is a cultural region within “California,” but you could add a more specific region of “San Joaquin Valley” that is within Central California. When you use a hierarchical profile (like "Central California") it automatically includes all broader regions or Profiles.

Central California automatically includes it broader Regions

Similarly, the cultural or tribal groups can be hierarchical- you can add new groups to your records and document whether they are included within broader ethnic or cultural groups. You can be as specific as you need to be to describe the region or culture and the cultural group. With the updated “Ethnography” expansion panel, organizing and documenting your ethnographic collections cannot be any easier.

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