Unknown Mexico

Huichol yarn painting. The Rockefeller Collection at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The people of ancient West Mexico, whose culture was markedly different from the Aztec and Maya civilizations, remain largely a mystery. They are identified by their burial practice as the “Shaft Tomb Culture.”


Based on an exhibition of original artifacts at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Unknown Mexico features traditional Huichol crafts, ink and wash drawings, and illustrations in acrylic paint, plus color photographs of ancient artifacts and views of modern Huichol Indians. Panel topics include:

  • Geographical location
  • Chupicuaro culture
  • Carl Lumholtz, Naturalist
  • Shaft tomb cultures: Nayarit, and Jalisco, and Colima
  • Types of shaft tombs
  • Diagram of a tomb
  • Musical figures
  • Tomb guardians
  • The Tarascan Empire
  • West Mexico folk art of the twentieth century

Unknown Mexico was produced in collaboration with the Houston Museum of Natural Science and organized by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Exhibition Format

Content10 double-sided panels (28” x 42”)
11 support legs ( 75” tall)
Space Requirements180 square feet of floor space (10 x 18’)
Shipping Weight and DimensionsTravels in 1 wood crate and 1 plastic case:
  • 48” x 35” x 26” - 248 lbs.
  • 79” x 7” x 6” - 42 lbs.
Rental Fee*$550*
Rental Period4 weeks

*Rental fees are based primarily on the cost of shipping. Prices may vary based on current fuel surcharges or venue location within the state of Texas. Out-of-state rentals are priced on an individual basis. Please call for a rental fee quote specific to your venue.

Publicity Materials

Press release

Unknown Mexico press release

Publicity image

A publicity image is available for promoting this exhibition at your venue. Please contact the exhibitions coordinator to request an electronic file of this image. Please allow 2-3 business days for the exhibitions coordinator to process your request.

Humanities Texas logos

Venues may request a CD with the Humanities Texas logo in a number of electronic file formats for use when developing print and online promotional materials. Logo files are also available for download on the logo page.

Book Now or Receive a Quote

To book an exhibition or receive a quote, please complete the online rental form.

Questions and Rental Information

Call 512.440.1991 or email

2021-2022 Bookings

All upcoming dates available. Please submit an online rental form to book or receive a quote.

On Display