Turkeys are among the largest birds in North America. Historically, the raising and hunting of turkeys played an important role in many Native American cultures. Not only were the feathers, bones, meat, and eggs used in a variety of ways, but the simple presence of the turkey in the fields was vital for pest control. The southwest is traditionally home to three subspecies of turkeys. Barbour examines the history of human-turkey interactions in New Mexico from the perspective of an archaeologist, hunter, and breeder of heritage birds.

Matthew Barbour holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from UNM and works for the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. He is the regional manager of Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites. Under Barbour’s management, Coronado Historic Site received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History and the Jemez Historic Site received the Archaeology Heritage Preservation Award. He has published more than 200 nonfiction articles and monographs.