Walter Hough

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Walter Hough, Ph.D. (1859–1935) was an American ethnologist who worked for the Smithsonian Institution.

Walter Hough
PSM V66 D392 Walter Hough.png
Walter Hough in 1904
Died1935, aged approx. 76
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
Alma materWest Virginia Agricultural College, West Virginia University
AwardsOrder of Isabella
Scientific career
FieldsEthnography, archaeology
InstitutionsSmithsonian Institution
InfluencedPaul Sidney Martin


Hough was born at Morgantown, West Virginia. He was educated at Monongalia Academy, West Virginia Agricultural College, and West Virginia University (A.B., 1883; Ph.D., 1894). He was employed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as an assistant (1886–94), as assistant curator of ethnology (1896–1910), and as curator from 1910 until his death in 1935. Though Hough's work revolved around cataloging the museum's collections, he also spent time doing archaeological field work in the American Southwest. In 1905, Hough unearthed preserved cobs of maize in a cave in New Mexico that helped subsequent archaeologists determine that the Mogollon ethnic group inhabited the area before the Anasazi Puebloans, who were previously considered to be the area's earliest inhabitants.[1]

Hough in Rock Creek Park, 1926

In 1892, Hough was made Knight of the Order of Isabella when in Madrid as a member of the United States Commission. He was also a member of Dr. J. Walter Fewkes' expedition to Arizona (1896–97).



  1. ^ Mann, Charles C. (November 2018). "What Ancient Maize Can Tell Us About Thousands of Years of Civilization in America". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  2. ^ Hough, Walter (1912), "Censers and incense of Mexico and Central America", Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press (etc.) (published 7 April 1912), 42 (1887), pp. 109–137, doi:10.5479/si.00963801.42-1887.109, hdl:2027/gri.ark:/13960/t5z60gv4v, ISSN 0096-3801, retrieved 16 April 2010

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