Mu Alpha Nu, the anthropology fraternity on ENMU’s Campus, is dedicated to teaching interested students about the world of anthropology and, in particular, the sub-set of archeology.
The original Mu Alpha Nu chapter was organized at the University of Southern California in 1934, but Mu Alpha Nu was not recognized as a national fraternity until 1936. According to Dr. Kath Putsavage, advisor for ENMU’s Mu Alpha Nu chapter, and Nathan Shelly, chapter president, the purpose of Mu Alpha Nu it to “serve the students of Eastern New Mexico University by promoting anthropology and archaeology through education and public outreach.”
The fraternity strives to promote anthropology through events they hold around town, trips they take as a group, and by giving members “the opportunity to network with various undergraduates and graduates in our
department,” as stated by Putsavage and Shelly.
Mu Alpha Nu has two annual events throughout the year, the Atlatl Competition in the fall, and the Cynthia Irwin Williams Lectureship series in the spring, which tend to draw large crowds from all over eastern New Mexico. The Atlatl competition, held at the Blackwater Draw National Historic Landmark, gives participants the chance to throw atlatls, ancient spear-throwers used 12,000 years ago.
According to Putsavage and Shelly, during the Cynthia Irwin Williams Lectureship series, Mu Alpha Nu invites a professional from the archeology profession to lecture to students and the public. This year, the fraternity will be hosting Dr. Suzanna Eckert, Head of Collections from the Arizona State Museum, who will give a lecture entitled Telling Their Story through Clay: Potters and Identity among the Late Prehistoric Pueblo Peoples, Friday, February 23.
While they have an average of 12 to 15 steady members, Mu Alpha Nu is always looking for new members to join them. The fraternity encourages any student interested in the world of anthropology to attend a meeting and experience all they have to offer. For more information, contact Dr. Kathryn Putsavage at Katy.Putavage@enmu.edu.