In 1897, anthropologist Franz Boas published The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians. This exhibition website explores the hidden histories and multiple legacies of the groundbreaking volume, which had considerable influence on anthropology, museums, and the modern concept of “culture.” It is part of a collaborative international project to create a new Critical Edition, in both print and digital media, that reassembles widely distributed materials, including items of regalia and archival photographs, drawings, field notes, manuscripts, and wax cylinder recordings. After a century of resilience, the Kwakwaka’wakw are reactivating these texts, museum collections, and archival records as tools for strengthening cultural identity.

This project features interactive elements included in the exhibition The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology, held at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery February 14–July 7, 2019.