Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018. Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka. This video is narrated by John Ochsendorf, professor of civil engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and produced by Noonday Films.
Views: 4838520 SmithsonianNMAI
Glittering World presents the story of Navajo jewelry through the lens of the gifted Yazzie family of Gallup, New Mexico—one of the most celebrated jewelry making families of our time. The silver, gold, and stone inlay work of Lee Yazzie and his younger brother, Raymond, has won every major award in the field. The exhibition—featuring almost 300 examples of contemporary jewelry made by several members of the Yazzie family, opens November 13, 2014, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, located in the U.S. Custom House near Battery Park. http://AmericanIndian.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/838/
Views: 43116 SmithsonianNMAI
On Monday, Oct. 11, in observance of Columbus Day, performance artist James Luna (Puyoukichum [Luiseño]) invites the public to "Take a Picture with a Real Indian" at 4:15 p.m. at the Christopher Columbus statue outside the front of Union Station in downtown Washington, D.C. Luna employs humor, irony and penetrating insight to confront commonly held perceptions of Native Americans. In this restaging of his acclaimed performance work, he will involve members of the audience, who can take away photographs of themselves with the artist. Luna's work is featured in "Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection" on view through Aug. 7, 2011.
Views: 32744 SmithsonianNMAI
David Boxley, a Tsimshian carver from Alaska, created a totem pole for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Boxley, who grew up in Metlakatla, and his son finished the work in the museum's Potomac atrium, where the Tsimshian dance group Git--Hoan (People of the Salmon) celebrated the unveiling. "There's few of us," Boxley told the Washington Post. "But we're alive and well. We wanted to let people know we're alive and well." The totem features a chief holding salmon, a group of villagers, and an eagle—the symbol of Boxleys' clan.
Views: 32358 SmithsonianNMAI
The Choctaw begin every meeting or event always by giving thanks to our Lord, the Creator. In that spirit, the Choctaw royalty perform the Lord's Prayer in sign language. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 21, 2013.
Views: 6980 SmithsonianNMAI
In the 1960s and '70s, the notion of American Indian art was turned on its head by artists who fought against prejudice and popular clichés. At the forefront of this revolution was Fritz Scholder (Luiseño, 1937-2005). This video introduction to the eponymous exhibition "Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian" was awarded the 2009 Gold Muse award by AAM for best video production of the year. Featuring 135 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures drawn from major public and private collections, including the color-saturated canvases for which the artist is famous, "Indian/Not Indian" opened concurrently at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and at NMAI's George Gustav Heye Center in New York. The Washington exhibition surveyed Scholder's forty-plus years as a working artist, with particular emphasis on his groundbreaking and controversial Indian paintings from the 1960s and 1970s. The New York exhibition focused on the artist's works from the 1980s and 1990s, when he stopped using overt Indian imagery and explored mythical beings, the afterlife, and the unknown. http://www.nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/scholder/
Views: 19205 SmithsonianNMAI
Glittering World presents the story of Navajo jewelry through the lens of the gifted Yazzie family of Gallup, New Mexico—one of the most celebrated jewelry making families of our time. The silver, gold, and stone inlay work of Lee Yazzie and his younger brother, Raymond, has won every major award in the field. Their sister Mary Marie makes outstanding jewelry that combines fine bead- and stonework; silver beads are handmade by other sisters. Jewelry making has long been an important part of the lives of Southwest Native peoples. During the last 50 years, Native jewelers in the Southwest—Navajos in particular—have created a contemporary aesthetic that draws on traditional materials and reflects the persistence of cultural values such as beauty, centering, and balance. This film was produced by the National Museum of the American Indian Media group for the Glittering World exhibition.
Views: 14835 SmithsonianNMAI
Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018. Demetrio Roca Wallparimachi offers a traditional prayer in Quechua, his native language. Before reciting the prayer, he explained: "In 1925, when I was eight years old, my mother took me from my native land of Anta to Cusco. . . . During my journey, my mother showed me the sacred spring used for purification before entering Cusco. My mother asked me to remove my shoes, wash my feet, hands, and face, say a prayer. . . . Cusco is a sacred city, still powerful today.”
Views: 5743 SmithsonianNMAI
Arvel Bird (Southern Paiute), a violinist and flutist, is known around the world for his dramatic connection between Celtic and Native American traditions. Dubbed "Lord of the Strings" by fans and music critics, his music evokes the soul of North American history and is thoroughly entertaining, but also enlightening and humanizing.
Views: 24041 SmithsonianNMAI
Francisco Corrales, a member of the Anthropology Department at the National Museum of Costa Rica, briefly describes three very different archaeological sites within the Greater Chiriquí region of Central America and the large stone spheres found there. While the reasons for the stones’ creation remain a mystery, Corrales explains that some may have had astronomical purposes or marked locations with special significance where important events would have taken place. This short video is from the exhibition "Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed." On view at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York from April 18, 2015, to January 2017, "Cerámica de los Ancestros" is a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center. Video produced by the NMAI Media Group
Views: 20143 SmithsonianNMAI
This video—from the exhibition Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.—introduces the goals of the sovereign rights movement. Indians wanted recognition of the rights confirmed by their treaties: Self-determination as sovereign nations within the United States, control of their land, and cultural autonomy. The U.S. argued that Indian tribes were only nations because the federal government said so. Indians maintained that they were nations before the U.S. was established, are nations now, and will still be nations after the U.S. is gone. Nearly 600 Native nations have formal a nation-to-nation relationship with the United States. Treaties are the foundation of that relationship. Although federal tribal relations are complex and burdened by difficult histories, they are bound by a clear, profound ideal: Great nations keep their word. Narrated by Robert Redford Produced by the National Museum of the American Indian and Interface Media Group
Views: 6277 SmithsonianNMAI
Joya de Cerén (Jewel of Cerén in the Spanish language) is a World Heritage Archaeological Site in La Libertad Department, El Salvador—a pre-Columbian farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash. This short video from the exhibition "Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed" describes the importance of the site to research. On view at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York from April 18, 2015, to January 2017, "Cerámica de los Ancestros" is a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center. http://nmai.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/?id=946 Produced by the NMAI Media Group
Views: 2760 SmithsonianNMAI
As American power and population grew in the 19th century, the United States gradually rejected the main principle of treaty-making—that tribes were self-governing nations—and initiated policies that undermined tribal sovereignty. For Indian nations, these policies resulted in broken treaties, vast land loss, removal and relocation, population decline, and cultural decimation. The "Indian Problem" was produced to serve as the central video in the exhibition "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations," on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. This video introduces visitors to the section of the exhibition titled "Bad Acts, Bad Paper."
Views: 86537 SmithsonianNMAI
In this first group of dances, the Choctaw Dancers perform the Four Step War Dance, a Wedding Dance, and the Rattlesnake Dance. Presley Byington explains the history and significance of each dance. Brad Joe's chanting is a key part of the dances, and his beadwork can be seen on several of the Choctaw Dancers' outfits. Presley Byington is a flute maker from Idabel, Oklahoma and is adept in many aspects of the Choctaw culture. Brad Joe is a Choctaw chanter, beadwork artist, and flutist. Recorded in the National Museum of the American Indian Potomac Atrium on June 21, 2013.
Views: 5140 SmithsonianNMAI
"Ramp it Up" celebrates the vibrancy, creativity, and controversy of American Indian skate culture. Skateboarding combines demanding physical exertion with design, graphic art, filmmaking, and music to produce a unique and dynamic culture. The exhibition features rare and archival photographs and film of Native skaters as well as skatedecks from Native companies and contemporary artists. "Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America" was shown at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York in 2009–2010 before going on tour. http://nmai.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/?id=571
Views: 18836 SmithsonianNMAI
After being accepted into the NMAI Artist Leadership Program and completing her research of Caddo cultural material at the NMAI Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, in December 2010, Jeri Redcorn returned to Oklahoma and hosted a 2 day Caddo Ceramics Workshop in March 2011 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma, to about 30 participants. Jeri Redcorn shares her personal story on why she is driven to pass on her knowledge of Caddo pottery to others. Two of the workshop participants, Robin Montoya and Tamara Francis share their personal stories on why they participated in this workshop. This video was directed by Sterlin Harjo.
Views: 2720 SmithsonianNMAI
Aymar Ccopacatty (Aymara), NMAI Artist Leadership Program (ALP) participant in 2012, tells his personal story of the environmental impact on Puno, Peru, of all-too-commonly discarded commercial plastic bags, and shows how picking them up, washing them, and using them to knit things can teach patience, share heritage, and open up new markets for Aymara and Quechua artisans. Aymar's Youth Public Art Project created a large knit-plastic Wiphala, the flag and symbol of Andean identity, to hang at the local bus terminal for all to see. His project brings environmental awareness while maintaining and celebrating traditional ways. Video directed and produced by Irma Alvarez and Aymar Ccopacatty, edited by Kelly L. Riley.
Views: 2233 SmithsonianNMAI
Suma Qamaña celebrates the spirit of "Living Well" in this four day festival hosted by the Embassy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, highlighting the indigenous cultures of Bolivia through dance and song. In this segment, Ballet Somos Bolivia perform the Cueca. Cueca was exclusive of the aristocratic classes in colonial times and during the first years after the independence of bolivia. This beautiful dances a representation of a seduction game between a male and a female who dance moving their right hand in a peculiar fashion. It is very popular in the different regions of Bolivia who have given their own distinctive features to the dance. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 8, 2014.
Views: 275288 SmithsonianNMAI
Images of physical, spiritual, and psychological transformation figure prominently in the work of Rick Bartow (Wiyot), such as his 2001 drawing "Deer Dancer for Hyacinth." In his sculpture titled "From the Mad River to the Little Salmon River, or The Responsibility of Raising a Child" (2004-05), Bartow draws inspiration from his work mentoring troubled youth in an Oregon detention facility. Teeming with human faces and animals native to the Oregon coast, the sculpture speaks to the essential roles of family and community in the rearing of children. Bartow's work has been featured in "Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection," through August 7, 2011, at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Views: 3722 SmithsonianNMAI
In Indigenous worldviews -- where humanity, nature, and the spiritual realm are closely connected -- the night sky provides spiritual and navigational guidance, timekeeping, weather prediction, and stories and legends that tell us how to live a proper life. Cultural astronomy, also referred to as archaeoastronomy or ethnoastronomy, explores the distinctive ways that astronomy is culturally embedded in the practices and traditions of various peoples. In Part 2, Michael Wassegijig Price presents "Underwater Panthers, Thunderbirds and Anishinaabe Star Knowledge." Michael Wassegijig Price is Anishinaabe and an enrolled tribal member of Wikwemikong First Nations. He currently serves as the Academic Dean of White Earth Tribal and Community College located on the White Earth Reservation in northwest Minnesota. Michael has devoted his entire career to the preservation of indigenous knowledge and the success of tribally controlled community colleges in reservation communities. In 2002, Michael authored an article entitled, "Anishinaabe Star Knowledge," which was a compilation of star stories and celestial knowledge of the Anishinaabe people, also known as Chippewa and Ojibway. The symposium was webcast on October 20, 2012 from the Rasmuson Theater in the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Views: 4709 SmithsonianNMAI
The Chapel for Pablo Tac honors Pablo Tac (Luiseño, 1822--41). At the age of 12, Tac traveled to Rome to study for the Catholic priesthood. He never returned home, but before his death seven years later, he penned a handbook of Luiseño grammar, began a dictionary of the language, and wrote an account of the "missionization" of his people. Luna re-creates an 18th-century California mission church and draws parallels between elements of Catholicism and the Native religions the missions intended to destroy. Celebrated for his installation and performance work, James Luna (Puyukitchum [Luiseño], b. 1950) creates art that confronts and challenges stereotypes about Native Americans, museums, art, and life through the use of irony, humor, grief, and a strong sense of storytelling.
Views: 3022 SmithsonianNMAI
Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018. Part 1, Inti Raymi: Inti Raymi, the Inka festival honoring Inti, the sun, takes place in many parts of the Andes, though most elaborately in Cusco, Peru. Held during the winter solstice, Inti Raymi involves rituals, processions, vibrant costumes, dancing, and celebrations. Part 2, Q'eswachaka: For 500 years local communities have used Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the suspension bridge over the Apurímac River at Q'eswachaka, Peru. Victoriano Arisapana, the architect of the bridge, uses skills and technology that have been handed down in his family for centuries. Part 3, Chawaytiri: Chawaytiri is one of about 500 Quechua communities that continue to use the Qhapaq Ñan, or Inka Road.
Views: 1958 SmithsonianNMAI
Tim Tingle tells an audience-participation story about how Rabbit got his short tail. Tim Tingle is an animated character, whose way with words and charisma, combined with his love for the Choctaw culture has made him a premier storyteller throughout the tribe. His passion and research has led to many books which entertain as well as educate. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 21, 2013.
Views: 3789 SmithsonianNMAI
There will be a concert with the New Orleans band, Dumpstaphunk, led by keyboardist Ivan Neville, on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 6 PM on the Welcome Plaza at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. He is joined by cousin Ian Neville on guitar, Nick Daniels and Tony Hall on double-bass and Raymond Webber on drums. There will be a pre-concert performance at 5 PM, with musicians Bill Miller (Mohican), Shakti Hayes (Plains Cree) and Murray Porter (Mohawk) on the Welcome Plaza. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 4 PM to celebrate the opening of the music exhibition, "Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture," in the Sealaska Gallery on the second level which is open through Jan. 2, 2011.
Views: 2517 SmithsonianNMAI
American Indian treaties with the United States have had enormous, incalculable, and permanent effects on the lands, cultures, and populations of Native America. As nation-to-nation agreements, treaties are integral to the history and development of the United States. And while many treaty promises remain unfulfilled, the principle of sovereignty makes treaties vital to Indian life today. This video was produced as part of the exhibition "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations," on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. The video introduces visitors to the principle of coexistence embodied in the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois or Six Nations) Guswenta, the Two-Row Wampum Belt.
Views: 12379 SmithsonianNMAI
This is the first of two performances by world champion hoop dancer, Nakotah LaRance (Hopi Nation), who dazzles audiences with his fancy footwork and fast moves as he performs the hoop dance. Accompanied by his father, Steve LaRance (Hopi/Ohkay Owingeh), drumming and singing. This performance was webcast from the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on October 23, 2014.
Views: 16263 SmithsonianNMAI
In this first group of dances, the Tsa-La-Gi Eastern Band of Cherokee dancers perform traditional animal and social dances, including; the Bear Dance, the Buffalo dance, the Corn Dance, and the Friendship Dance. Jarrett Wildcatt introduces the dances and sings. Recorded at the National Museum of the American Indian Potomac Atrium on April 5, 2014.
Views: 17135 SmithsonianNMAI
The chronicler Inka Garcilaso de la Vega recorded the origin story of the Inka and the founding of Cusco, the capital of their great empire, in his "Royal Commentaries of Peru," published in 1609. According to the Inka origin story, Inti, the sun, sent two of his children—Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo—to bring order and civilization to humankind. The pair emerged from Lake Titicaca and headed north to found a city. The city was Cusco. Their path was the first Inka Road. This video is adapted from a digital flipbook created for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering and Empire" on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018. http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/index.html Produced by the National Museum of the American Indian; illustrations by Alejandra Egaña and Paz Puga, Ojitos Producciones; design by Juanita Wrenn/WrennWorks.
Views: 20667 SmithsonianNMAI
Kay WalkingStick's (Cherokee) landmark "Chief Joseph" series is an elegy for the Nez Perce chief and his followers, who resisted forced removal from their homeland to a distant reservation. WalkingStick incised archetypal arc forms into thickly applied surfaces of acrylic paint and wax, revealing the color-stained canvases below in a kind of ritual act of mourning for the loss of home, land, and lives. 27 of the 36 panels in the series are in the museum's permanent collection. WalkingStick's work has been featured in "Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection," through August 7, 2011, at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Views: 1711 SmithsonianNMAI
The Choctaw begin every meeting or event always by giving thanks to our Lord, the Creator. In that spirit, the Choctaw royalty perform the Lord's Prayer in sign language. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 21, 2013.
Views: 2757 SmithsonianNMAI
Three Generationz is an Afro-Native Theater Company dedicated to the preservation of Native American and African song, dance and storytelling. This troupe of exceptional vocal musicians hale from the Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek and Black Foot Nations. They combine the elements of song, history, language, rhythm, culture and dance to create an entertaining, educational, spiritually elevated performance full of audience participation. This performance took place on January 18, 2013 as part of the Out of Many multicultural festival of music, dance, and story.
Views: 5102 SmithsonianNMAI
Chris Morganroth, a Quileute elder, tells traditional stories geared towards kids and families. Morganroth also gives an introduction to Quileute culture and discuss how the tribe is presented in the popular Twilight books and movies, which is also the topic of the traveling exhibition "Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves." This performance was recorded in the museum's Rasmuson Theater on January 15, 2012.
Views: 19619 SmithsonianNMAI
Suma Qamaña celebrates the spirit of "Living Well" in this four day festival hosted by the Embassy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, highlighting the indigenous cultures of Bolivia through dance and song. In this segment, Tradiciones Bolivianas perform the Moceñada. The Moceñada is an origin of the Aymara culture. The basis of this dance is the nature and the universe. Inspired in the Andean high plains, people come together to play, in a distinct rhythm, musical instruments such as drums, "bobos" or bass drums, and long wind instruments. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 8, 2014.
Views: 8451 SmithsonianNMAI
This animation tells the Iroquois story about three hunters who follow a bear into the sky and become the stars forming the handle of the Big Dipper. It is one of nine traditional Native American stories that are part of the National Museum of the American Indian inaugural exhibition "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," which is on view through April 20, 2019.
Views: 720 SmithsonianNMAI
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, launched the traveling exhibition "Native Words, Native Warriors" in the fall of 2008 coinciding with the November celebrations ofo American Indian Heritage Month and Veterans Day. The exhibition tells the remarkable story of soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in service to the US. military in WWI and WWII. This top-secret program as an instrumental part of the allies' success: while it to a machine up to four hours to transmit and decode a message, the code talkers to do it in less than three minutes. The codes were never broken. "Native Words," incorporates interviews with the soldiers on 15 large scale banners, a 50-minute VHS tape and this 10 minute video, to record this little-known part of history. This inspiring exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous supper of donor Elizabeth Hunter Solomon. Additional support has been provide by the Smithsonian Women's Committee and the AMB foundation.
Views: 2182 SmithsonianNMAI
Robert Lewis tells two uplifting audience-participation stories centered around a rabbit, that focus on following your dreams and being a leader instead of following the crowd. Recorded in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian on April 5, 2014.
Views: 1290 SmithsonianNMAI
Painting in an abstract style appeals to Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui, b. 1953) in part because it allows him to express Yaqui cultural traditions, knowledge, and spirituality without explicitly revealing them. In "Yaqui Flashback II" (1991), he incorporates decorative fabrics used in Yaqui ceremonial regalia. While he frequently depicts what he considers "essential" forms found in nature, more recent works such as "Brooklyn" (2004) also refer to the urban landscape of his current home. Martinez's work is featured in "Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection," on view through August 7, 2011 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Views: 989 SmithsonianNMAI
Oscar Montufar La Torre describes how Pachacutic—the ninth Inka ruler, who governed from 1431 to 1479—re-created the capital as a symbol of Inka political and ceremonial power. The image of Pachacutiq's Cusco as a puma, an Andean deity, is recorded in the chronicles of Garcilaso and Guaman Poma, and can be heard in place names used to this day. Montufar La Torre is an archaeologist and director of the Parque Ecológico de Sacsayhuamán, Cusco.Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018.
Views: 2141 SmithsonianNMAI
Buddhist Ekoji - Nen Daiko performs the traditional Japanese art of "kumi-daiko" (Japanese taiko ensemble drumming). Nen Daiko was founded in 1994 and is based out of Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, Virginia. Nen Daiko emphasizies the basic philosophies of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and its connection to taiko and kumi-daiko. While affiliated with Ekoji Buddhist Temple, members are diverse and of different faiths, brought together by a common respect for the art of taiko, the teachings of Buddhist taiko, and a joy and exuberance for expression through the beat of the drum. Nen Daiko has performed at many venues in the metropolitan area, such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Theatre, the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, and the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in World War II. They also participate in many local and national events throughout the year, including the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the summer Obon Festival at Ekoji Buddhist Temple. This performance took place on January 20, 2013 as part of the Out of Many multicultural festival of music, dance, and story.
Views: 120020 SmithsonianNMAI