Museum of Anthropology

Hallway Exhibits

Unless noted, these exhibits are displayed in the main hallway of the first floor of College Hall.

Baskets of Birch Bark

Northern landscapes are graced by “ghostly” white trunks of the paper birch tree, Betula papyrifera. For many centuries, paper birch bark has made important contributions to human life, being used for food, containers, utensils, transportation by land and water, shelters and roofing, furniture, and tinder. Properties of birch bark that make it so valuable include its water tightness, pliability, resistance to decay, and ready availability wherever the trees grow. However, construction of birch bark objects goes beyond its physical properties, using the natural beauty of the bark in the artistic design of the objects.

This exhibit focuses on containers made from birch bark—how they are made, their uses, and their unique loveliness.

GER Courses in Anthropology

Diverse Anthropology courses are offered to help students fill their WSU General Educational Requirements. These courses range from a general survey of the field to specialized topics such as Cultural Ecology, Physical Anthropology, Art and Society, and Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature. This display features the course offerings for the upcoming semester.

Clovis Complex

People of Clovis Cultures lived in North America from about 11,500 to 10,900 years B.P., traveling from place to place hunting and gathering plant foods. Mammoths and bison were very important in their diet, and they were hunted with distinctive bifacial stone projectile points with fluted bases. This display illustrates tools used by Clovis people and discusses the distribution of the Clovis Complex in North America.

Bison and People of the Columbia Plateau

American Indians living on the Great Plains depended on buffalo (more properly called bison) for food, warm clothing, and many other necessities. Bison also lived in small groups on the Columbia Plateau and were hunted by Plateau people. Plateau bison lived in small scattered groups, not in huge herds like those that roamed the Great Plains. Bison were an important economic resource to Plateau peoples, for one animal provided as much meat as several elk or pronghorn.  However, Plateau people were not economically dependent on bison because the bison were limited in number and because Plateau people had a rich supply of root foods and fish. This display discusses the arrival of bison in North America, their presence on the Columbia Plateau, and how nearly every part of the bison was used.

Kinship Systems (second floor)

How are we related to others in our society? A kinship system is a classification of families and the degree of relatedness of individuals. Non-western societies tend to be strongly kinship-oriented. In these societies, kinship determines the social position and roles of an individual and is a primary basis of all social interaction. Kin relationships are usually ordered in a formally recognized structure called a Kinship System. This display compares three Kinship Systems.

Life is good at WSU.

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A unique richness of students, faculty, location, activities, and organizations creates a full, lively student life at the University. This section gives you the insider's view on student life and a sampling of the opportunities here.

"Glimpses." Students talk about life at WSU

These brief posts are written by WSU students to give you a personal look through their window on campus life.


Museum of Anthropology, PO Box 644910, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4910 • 509-335-3441 • Contact Us