||This presentation addresses how to collect and analyze artifacts in ethnographic and qualitative research, and the value of using artifacts in research which seeks to describe and interpret the identities that research participants construct. We believe that artifacts can be very useful in such research, because they tell us about the every day, taken-for-granted cultural meanings that people give to their surroundings, the things they make, their tools, toys, clothing, and even natural objects that have been given cultural meanings. Artifacts can be used to determine what people value, and how they adapt the resources they have to their needs. However, artifacts most often consist simply of souvenirs and clothing collected by researchers; they usually are under-utilized as research data themselves. Artifacts are large and lumpy and difficult to ship home. They may be immoveable, as is the case with features of the natural environment—mountains, urban environments, etc. In every case, they are difficult to analyze directly because research privileges data that can be manipulated easily— numbers and words. Nonetheless, we believe that artifacts can provide both a stimulus for collecting rich information about people and their culture, and also a window into otherwise unexamined questions in anthropological, sociological, educational, and other social science research. Visual anthropology and sociology has made use of wide photographs to supplement verbal description (Collier and Collier 1986). Anthropologists also have analyzed artifacts in the process of describing manufacturing and economies in communities they study. However, we believe that artifacts have been little used in studies of education (but see LeCompte and Preissle 1993), and especially in the study of processes of identity construction and maintenance. In an era of highly mobile populations, home culture no longer provides the sole and stable anchor for identity. Many people migrate back and forth between several countries, communities and cultures. Personal and community identity, then, must adapt to several environments at once. We believe that migrants form hybrid identities made up of components from multiple cultures and environments. Examining the artifacts that they use and surround themselves with can provide a window into dynamic processes of identity construction. In summary, as ethnographic researchers we realize the value that artifacts have had for us, as data objects and as a way to create conversations with participants about the objects, their functions, and their uses historically and currently. We believe that this issue remains insufficiently examined in the literature.