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Permanent Gallery

Kittie West Nelson Ferguson People of the Pecos Gallery

Journey through the Lower Pecos Canyonlands and experience the daily life and spiritual world of the People of the Pecos, who lived here in Texas for over 9,000 years. Discover how these hunter gatherers lived, moved with the seasons and transformed natural materials into tools, utensils, clothing and shelter.

Step into the majestic and rugged land of the Lower Pecos, a terrain of cactus, mesquite, rocks and rivers, home to rabbit, deer, snakes and lizards. Explore the giant hollows carved into canyon walls – shelter for the first people who settled here. Discover the tools, treasured possessions and other items left behind to learn how the People of the Pecos lived.

Use touchscreens to illuminate the magnificent rock art murals that span nearly 4,000 years of artistic expression and depict visual narratives of ancient stories.

Look up into the night sky and see the constellations arranged as the People of the Pecos would have seen them on a September night approximately 4,000 years ago.

Wide shot of People of Pecos Gallery

Find out how we know what we know!

  • The People of the Pecos left tantalizing evidence of their lifeway in rock shelters including mats, baskets, sandals, beds, earth ovens, food remains, tools, and toys.
  • One of the most important plants used by the People of the Pecos was lechuguilla. The bulb was baked and used for food, the leaves were split and used to make sandals, and the fiber was stripped and used to make string cordage for nets and baskets. The dry flower stalk was used for spear shafts, fire drills, and hearth sticks.
  • Scientists reconstitute the coprolites in the lab to examine the contents. Plant parts are identified by the studying undigested seeds and fiber. Animal remains are identified by examining undigested bones, hair, and scales.

Exhibition Highlights

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Cave drawings artwork

White Shaman Preserve

Journey deep into the rugged Lower Pecos Canyonlands to experience the White Shaman mural, considered one of the most cosmologically complex narratives in the world. Located near Seminole Canyon State Park, this two hour trek takes you through a landscape filled with Chihuahuan Desert plants and stunning views of the Pecos River where it converges with the Rio Grande.

The Witte

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