Programs & Services

Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies

at the Center for NM Archaeology

On display through Sep 30, 2019 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Please note this exhibit is at the Center for NM Archaeology, located at 7 Old Cochiti Road, off the Caja Del Rio exit of 599.

Birds are among the most cherished animals with whom we share the Earth. Where birds live well, people thrive. The presence and wellbeing of birds reflects the health of the environment; they share every ecosystem with us, playing the role of hunter and prey, pollinators, scavengers, and dispersers of seeds. Feeding the spirit, they can signify strength, courage and freedom. They are companions to us and inspire us to think beyond our own confinement and limitations. With some 10,000 species of birds in the world, they represent one of the best adapted animals on Earth, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.

“Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies” explores the importance of birds among Native American culture both in the past and today. It includes information on some of the major bird species of the Southwest and how important birds have been as a resource for tools, feathers and food. Birds in archaeology, how they are studied and what that tells us about the past, is also included. With help from Audubon New Mexico, the exhibit inspires to communicate important aspects of birds and their role in our world.

The exhibit opens on International Archaeology Day, Saturday, October 20, at the Center for New Mexico Archaeology located off the 599 Bypass in Santa Fe at 7 Old Cochiti Road (located off Caja del Rio Road, right across from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society). The Center, which houses the archaeology collections for the State of New Mexico, and the Office of Archaeological Studies, who shares the building, will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include tours of the facility and many activities and demonstrations for children and adults including atlatl (spear) throwing and archaeology demonstrations. The event is free of charge. Thereafter, the exhibit can be viewed in the lobby of the Center until October 2019, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).

This exhibit complements The Year of the Bird, the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that was passed in 1918 to protect birds from wanton killing. The Year of the Bird is sponsored by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Visit any of these organizations’ sites to sign up, learn how to help protect birds, and find events near you!

Also on exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture


New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

The Cowboy Way: Drawings by Robert ’Shoofly’ Shufelt

The first artwork ever to be displayed at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum belonged to Robert
more »

Atomic Histories

The Atomic Histories exhibit explores the most famous events, sometimes little known stories, and inventions born here
more »

Drawn to the Land: Peter Hurd’s New Mexico

Drawn to the Land: Peter Hurd’s New Mexico features 24 paintings and some of the artist’s belongings,
more »

Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy

Will Rogers noted that Fred Harvey “kept the West in food—and wives.” But the company’s Harvey
more »