The Continuity of Maize


About the Institute and Exhibit Program

Founded in 1924, the Middle American Research Institute (M.A.R.I.) at Tulane University strives to promote greater understanding of the vibrant and diverse cultures of Mesoamerica, the area encompassing much of Mexico and Central America.

The Institute stewards an extensive collection of textiles, artifacts, and ethnographic materials and an archive of letters, field notes, maps, and photographs gathered during field projects and given by generous donors. M.A.R.I. endeavors to make these collections visible and accessible to researchers, students, and the general public through exhibitions, workshops, symposia, and scholarly publications.

Each semester, M.A.R.I. interns explore and research the Institute’s photographic collections. The culmination of their hard work is a photo exhibit displayed in the hallway outside the main gallery. These exhibits have covered a wide range of topics showcasing the people and material culture of Mesoamerica.


The Continuity of Maize

Cuisine can reveal a great deal about a culture. Maize, commonly known as corn, is has been entrenched in the culture and history of Mesoamerica for thousands of years.

Using photographs from the M.A.R.I. archival collections, this exhibit explores the central place of maize in both ancient and twentieth century Mesoamerica. These images include maize processing tools like manos and metates, maize-themed iconography, and snapshots that capture how integral this plant is to everyday life.


Date Exhibited: Spring 2018

Location: M.A.R.I., 3rd floor of Dinwiddie Hall, Tulane University

Acknowledgements: The exhibit was designed by Archives Intern Mary Margaret Roppolo and supervised by Erin Patterson, M.A.R.I. Archive Manager. It was converted to digital format by Max Dambach and Erin Patterson.


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