Catalyst for a Quest

George Gustav Heye’s interest in finding the legendary White City hidden in the Honduran jungle was inspired in part by his acquisition of this foot-long stone armadillo from Mosquitia in 1906. He believed—probably erroneously—that the figurine had originally been studded with jewels.

Faces of a Vanished Culture

After Capt. R. Stuart Murray’s expeditions failed to find the White City, Heye dispatched Theodore Morde to Honduras for another attempt. Morde returned with artifacts including the ceramic figurines seen here—and news, never confirmed, that the city had been found.

Photographed at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, by Ernest Amoroso (7274)

Photographed at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, by Mark Thiessen, NGM Staff (202821)

Photographed at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, by Mark Thiessen, NGM Staff (202823)

Photographed at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, by Mark Thiessen, NGM Staff (202825)

Photographed at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, by Mark Thiessen, NGM Staff (202824)