Precolumbian Lifeways showcases over 80 artifacts from ancient cultures of Central and South America that range in time from around 1000 B.C. to 1500 A.D. Objects chosen for the exhibit illustrate the four ethnological themes of Domestic Life, Technology and Art, Beliefs, and Encounters as defined below:
Domestic Life: Household items meet basic needs (including food and shelter), and show people how to live, work, and play.
Technology and Art: People modify natural elements to improve their way of life, and to add beauty to their surroundings.
Beliefs: Ritual and Ceremonial objects reinforce belief systems that sustain and strengthen communities.
Encounters: Meeting strangers and engaging in trade can lead to changes within societies, which are often seen in their artifacts.
Drawing from the personal collections of Drs. Ernesto and Luisa Lira and Dr. Richard and Nancy Weiss, supplemented with artifacts from the Museum of the Red River, it will travel to additional venues following its debut in Idabel. The exhibit was organized by research curator Dr. Frederick W. Lange. Precolumbian Lifeways will run through December 6, 2020.