American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American history and contemporary life.
The images are everywhere, from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, and from classic Westerns and cartoons to episodes of Seinfeld and South Park. American Indian names are everywhere too, from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile. And the familiar historical events of Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn remain popular reference points in everyday conversations.
Americans highlights the ways in which American Indians have been part of the nation’s identity since before the country began. It will surround visitors with images, delve into the three stories, and invite them to begin a conversation about why this phenomenon exists.
Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded in unexpected ways in the history, pop culture, and identity of the United States.
The “Americans” exhibit opens Jan. 18, 2018 and should run for several years. The exhibition was curated by Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche) and Cécile R. Ganteaume.
About the Museum
The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. in Washington D.C.; Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25); Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and AmericanIndian.si.edu.
The museum invites the public to let us know where they see American Indian imagery and words. Join the conversation on social media using #NDNsEverywhere.
For more information, please visit https://nmai.si.edu/americans/.
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