The American Ethnological Society is the oldest professional anthropological organization in the United States. Founded in 1842 to encourage research in the emerging field of ethnology, its stated goal was to foster "inquiries generally connected with the human race."
Today the AES, a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), is a thriving group of nearly 4,000 anthropologists who organize an annual meeting, publish the journal American Ethnologist, and carry on a variety of activities to promote scholarship on "ethnology in the broader sense of the term."
The emblem of the American Ethnological Society (left) is taken from the design of a silver medallion presented to winners of the AES's Elsie Clews Parson prize, awarded annually for student papers between 1970 and 1980. The medallions were made by Emory Sekaquaptewa of Hopi Crafts, Arizona, utilizing a spider symbol common to Hopi pottery design.