Sketching knowledge: Quandaries in the mimetic reproduction of Pueblo ritual

by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh

In this article, I examine the quandaries of knowledge reproduction and preservation raised by the Henry C. Toll Collection of sketches, curated at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, depicting the religious ceremonies of 18 Pueblo tribes. The collection provides unique insight into the interrelationships between power and image making, intellectual property and secrecy, and museum practices in an age of ethical engagement with descendant communities. I explore these themes in the context of the Pueblos’ historical struggle to control images, the Toll Collection's formation, and ethnographic interviews with Acoma, Hopi, Laguna, and Zuni cultural leaders.