Standards > Ethnographic Resources



"Ethnographic resources are basic expressions of human culture and the basis for continuity of cultural systems. A cultural system encompasses both the tangible and the intangible. It includes traditional arts and native languages, religious beliefs and subsistence activities. Some of these traditions are supported by ethnographic resources: special places in the natural world, structures with historic associations, and natural materials. An ethnographic resource might be a riverbank used as a Pueblo ceremonial site or a schoolhouse associated with Hispanic education, sea grass needed to make baskets in an African-American tradition or a 19th-century sample of carved ivory from Alaska. Management of ethnographic resources acknowledges that culturally diverse groups have their own ways of viewing the world and a right to maintain their traditions."

"…ethnographic resources are not limited to things commonly thought of as cultural resources, nor are ethnographic associations limited to past people and events. For ethnographic resources, associations are links to living traditions."

Chapter 1: Fundamental Concepts of Cultural Resource Management, B. Types of Cultural Resources, 2. and C. The Nature of Cultural Resources, 2. Associations, NPS Resource Types, NPS-28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline, National Park Service


Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, 1990

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