Contingent collaborations: Patterns of reciprocity in museum-community partnerships

Daniel C. Swan, Michael Paul Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article examines a recent series of interactions between the Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma, and the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society in Anadarko, Oklahoma. These endeavors employed reciprocal systems of authority and power sharing and embraced the increased importance of community heritage agendas in defining museum exhibition and research programs. Specifically, this article provides a detailed explication of the process and products of collaboration and their respective roles in fostering longitudinal relationships. The efforts of the museum to produce a video program to accompany the exhibition of a Kiowa calendar record intersects with the efforts of the Black Leggings Warrior Society to claim and protect their intellectual property through the use of defensive publication. The authors encourage our colleagues engaged in similar efforts to consider the contingent nature of longitudinal collaborations and the critical need to actively address the inherent inequities in museum-community relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-84
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of Folklore Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


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