About the Center

The Center for Research in Traditional Culture of the Americas, also referred to as CRITCA, is a scientific research center with objectives based in the anthropological study of traditional culture. Traditional culture consists of the shared practices and lifeways of a group with a common past, present, and future. The group can be ancient, historic, or modern, but has a shared understanding of the crafts, industries, foods, arts, rituals and celebrations, tools, and other cultural components with continuity from the past. Traditional culture is viewed broadly by the Center, to include prehistory, history, and ethnography. Archaeological studies, historic period research, and ethnographic interviews are all included in the definition of traditional culture.

The results of the scientific research conducted by the Center will be available to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. The results will be made available to the general public to further advancement of science related to knowledge about and appreciation of traditional culture. This may include public workshops, seminars, lectures, publications, film media, and other methods of disseminating results of the research conducted by the Center.

The primary objectives and purposes of the Center are: a) To preserve and record traditional arts and crafts, industries, practices, knowledge, information, and documents for the benefit of the public today and in the future; b) To document the prehistoric and historic record through archaeological, ethnographic, or written data; c) To analyze and report museum and stored collections that remain unstudied or understudied, either in private or public curation facilities; d) To create an archive of information on traditional culture through reproduction of objects, preparation of reports, supporting studies, and visual media; e) To collect and preserve ethnographic information about traditional culture from elders and other knowledgeable sources; and f) To disseminate this compendium of important traditional culture to the public, scholars, and students.

The Center supports and conducts scientific research programs under three broad categories:

–Research on Traditional Cultural Locations

–Research on Traditional Cultural Objects

–Research on Traditional Cultural Practices

The Center is a 501(c)(3) public charity under the IRS code –  identification number 81-2092209.  The Center accepts contributions, donations, and grants for these programs that are tax deductible as allowed by IRC Section 170. Directors receive no salary or fees and serve as volunteers.

Director:  Susan M. Hector, Ph.D., President

Director:  Michael P. Sampson, M.A., Secretary/Treasurer

*All text and images are copyrighted by the Center for Research in Traditional Culture of the Americas and use must be requested in advance from the Board of Directors.


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