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Collecting became a passion with many wealthy men, and it is from these collectors that major increments in present-day public textile collections have derived. For the most part, these accumulations have gone to major museums in the eastern and midwestern United States, but some went West or stayed in the Southwest. Meanwhile, other agencies were also involved in the study of "Vanishing Americans" and in collecting the articles of material culture which are the basis of most research today. Even major art museums collected American Indian art until about 1910 when it lost its status as art and returned to the status of curio.

Tempe: Arizona State University. W. 1940 Some Navaho Culture Changes during Two Centuries (With a translation of the early eighteenth century Rabal manuscript). In Essays in Historical Anthropology of North America, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 100. Pp. 395-415. C. Matthews, Washington 1893 Navajo Dye Stuffs. Smithsonian Institution Annual Report for 1891. Pp. 613-615. S. Government Printing Office. 1884 Navajo Weavers. Third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1880-1882.

More than forty museums answered his request for further information. , Canada, England, and Sweden, was established on the basis of this preliminary survey. From September 1972 to June 1973, Wheat visited approximately fifty museums and a few private collections, viewed over 3500 textiles from the native Southwest, and closely analyzed and photographed about 2000 of those fabrics. Pieces selected for close examination were chosen because they were accompanied by documentary evidence of their cultural origins or subsequent ownership.

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