Highlights from the Doughty Folk Art Collection

Free admission

This exhibition offers a glimpse of mid-20th-century lifestyles of indigenous people living in South and Central America. Learn how people with roots in pre-Hispanic cultures from Mesoamerica and the Andes express their identities in what they make and wear through a conscious selection of patterns, colors and materials that echo their community’s past.

  • Historical Artifacts
    Explore hand-crafted items, including heirlooms dating to the late 1800s, that represent lifestyles adapted to various environments ranging from high mountain to desert regions and the lush Amazon rain forest.
  • Tour of the Doughtys’ Travels
    Identify the areas of the Andes and Mesoamerica in which the Doughtys lived and traveled for more than 30 years.
  • Ties to the Colonial and Pre-Columbian Past
    Learn how textiles reflect pre-Hispanic weaving traditions as well as the region’s colonial past from clothing and hats to objects with practical uses.

  • Among Andean and Mesoamerican people, clothing identifies the wearer according to a particular ethnic group and region. By examining the colors, patterns, designs and types of weave, it is often possible to determine the community where the garment was made.
  • With the introduction of new cultural changes by Spanish settlers in the 16th century, people living in these regions resisted authority by retaining some of their pre-Hispanic traditions in clothing, festivities, religion and agriculture.
  • About 13 million Quechua speakers and 2 million Aymara live in the Andes, forming a significant portion of the population.
  • The multiple layers of skirts decorated with fine embroidery worn by indigenous women provide warmth and also serve as a source of pride and a testament to the skill of the maker.


Brought together through the generosity of Paul and Polly Doughty, the Florida Museum thanks them for their recent donation to help preserve significant collections for future generations of researchers and Museum visitors, as well as those of today.