At the American Museum of Natural History, New York City

Virtually explore the American Museum of National History with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the American Museum of Natural History's website

Paikea at the American Museum of Natural History
Paikea at the American Museum of Natural History

After a century in storage, this “Whale Rider” got a visit from his descendants—and received a token of their love.

Navigation Chart, Marshall Islands
Navigation Chart, Marshall Islands

Master sailors fashioned these maps from sticks and cowrie shells, registering relationships between land and sea.

Four Buddhas at the American Museum of Natural History
Four Buddhas at the American Museum of Natural History

This video decodes the hand gestures, symbols, and styles of Buddhas from Thailand, Pakistan, Japan, and China.

<em>Kunz Axe</em> (Olmec)
Kunz Axe (Olmec)

In spite its name, this jade figure was a ritual object and never used as an axe.

The Mesoamerican ballgame and a Classic Veracruz yoke
The Mesoamerican ballgame and a Classic Veracruz yoke

Take me out to the ballgame: hundreds of courts survive for a ritual ballgame that united Mesoamerican society.

Transformation masks
Transformation masks

Wearers can toggle between the faces of animals and mythical beings—all with the tug of a string.