Colonialism

William Trost Richards, Along the Shore, 1903

The Sights and Sounds of the Sea Have Inspired American Artists for Generations

Exhibition spotlights crashing waves, maritime voyages and seafaring vessels painted by Georgia O'Keeffe, Normal Rockwell and Jacob Lawrence

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Omai, circa 1776

The Polynesian 'Prince' Who Took 18th-Century England by Storm

A new nonfiction release revisits the life of Mai, the first Pacific Islander to visit Britain

Alula Pankhurst, a member of Ethiopia’s National Heritage Restitution Committee, calls the objects' return the “single most significant heritage restitution in Ethiopia’s history.”

Looted Maqdala Treasures Returned to Ethiopia After 150 Years

A nonprofit foundation purchased the objects, which were seized by British troops in 1868, with the aim of restituting them

In October 2020, authorities in Mexico City set up metal fences (pictured here) to protect a statue of Christopher Columbus from protesters. Officials later removed the sculpture, ostensibly for restoration.

Monument to Indigenous Women Will Replace Columbus Statue in Mexico City

Named after the Nahuatl word for "water," the sculpture will depict a member of the Mesoamerican Olmec civilization

This Aztec pictogram depicts warriors drowning as a temple burns in the background. New research links the scene to a 1507 earthquake.

Aztec Pictograms Are the First Written Records of Earthquakes in the Americas

New analysis of the 16th-century "Codex Telleriano-Remensis" reveals 12 references to the natural disasters

Johnson is the only convicted Salem "witch" who has not yet received an official pardon.

History of Now

This Eighth-Grade Class Wants to Clear the Name of an Accused Salem 'Witch'

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. was sentenced to death in 1693 but escaped execution after receiving a reprieve from Massachusetts' governor

Walker's map is now in the Smithsonian's archives. In an 1873 report, he described relics he'd found, including "immense quantities of broken pottery."

This Map Details Florida's Disappearing Native American Landscape

A 19th-century reporter’s invaluable guide offers a look at the earliest residents of the area surrounding the Tampa Bay

Previous research has largely drawn on texts created by Spanish colonizers.

New Research

Machu Picchu Is Older Than Previously Thought, Radiocarbon Dating Suggests

New research indicates that the Inca settlement was in continuous use from at least 1420 to 1530

Alfredo Ramos Martínez, La Malinche (Young Girl of Yalala, Oaxaca), 1940

Was La Malinche, Indigenous Interpreter for Conquistador Hernán Cortés, a Traitor, Survivor or Icon?

A new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum explores the legacy of an enslaved woman who aided Spain's conquest of the Americas

The Humboldt Forum opened in the heart of Berlin on July 20.

Why Germany's Newly Opened Humboldt Forum Is So Controversial

Critics cite the Berlin museum's ties to the country's colonialist past

Map of Nova Scotia made in 1755 by provincial chief surveyor Charles Morris

Unraveling the Colonialist Myths of Nova Scotia

Planners saw the region as a blank space ripe for transformation: the perfect canvas for imperial fantasies

Costa Rican Minister of Culture and Youth Sylvie Durán (right) examines some of the newly returned artifacts.

Brooklyn Museum Returns 1,305 Pre-Hispanic Artifacts to Costa Rica

The NYC cultural institution sent the objects to the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica as an "as an unrestricted gift"

To date, researchers have uncovered fragments of Spanish pottery, animal bones, oyster shells, jewelry beads and an array of other artifacts.

Cool Finds

Is This Florida Island Home to a Long-Lost Native American Settlement?

Excavations on Big Talbot Island may have unearthed traces of Saraby, a 16th- or 17th-century Mocama community

Two protesters hold a sign reading "Reparations to descendants instead of 'development aid' to Namibia" at a demonstration in Berlin on May 28. That day, the German foreign minister formally acknowledged the Herero and  Nama genocide and promised €1.1 billion in infrastructure aid—but stopped short of labeling the effort "reparations."

History of Now

Germany Acknowledges Genocide in Namibia but Stops Short of Reparations

Between 1904 and 1908, colonial forces murdered tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people

“We have these iconic figures from history and literature, who people feel possessive about in some way,” says scholar Miranda Kaufman, author of Black Tudors: The Untold Story. “But you have to remember that it’s not a historical reconstruction: it’s a thriller; it’s a drama; it’s entertainment.”

Why the Controversy Over a Black Actress Playing Anne Boleyn Is Unnecessary and Harmful

Long before Jodie Turner-Smith's miniseries came under criticism, British Indian actress Merle Oberon portrayed the Tudor queen

Archaeologists work at the site of the former Golden Rock Plantation, where researchers recently found an 18th-century graveyard that holds the remains of at least 48 enslaved Africans.

Remains of Enslaved People Found at Site of 18th-Century Caribbean Plantation

Archaeologists conducting excavations on the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius have discovered 48 skeletons to date

Anonymous, Enslaved Men Digging Trenches, c. 1850

Confronting the Netherlands' Role in the Brutal History of Slavery

A Rijksmuseum exhibition explores the legacy of colonialism and misleading nature of the term "Dutch Golden Age"

Before she was hanged in 1898, Nehanda declared that her body would rise again to lead a new, victorious rebellion.

Spiritual Medium Mbuya Nehanda Defied Colonialists in 19th-Century Zimbabwe

A newly unveiled statue in the African country's capital honors an icon of resistance against British imperialism

Approximately 500 years ago, Spanish forces laid siege to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán.

Mexico City Marks 500th Anniversary of the Fall of Tenochtitlán

The events highlight the complex legacy of 300 years of Spanish rule

Tsökahovi "Louis" Tewanima became an Olympian while being forced to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The Olympic Star Who Just Wanted to Go Home

Tsökahovi Tewanima held an American record in running for decades, but his training at the infamous Carlisle school kept him from his ancestral Hopi lands