1 Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
Description: Grand Procession celebrates Native identity through 23 colorful and meticulously detailed objects that are much more than dolls. Traditionally made by female relatives using buffalo hair, hide, porcupine quills, and shells, figures like these have long served as both toys and teaching tools for American Indian communities. Outfitted in intricate regalia, these dolls—on loan from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection—represent Plains and Plateau tribes and the work of five artists: Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Lakota), Joyce Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux), Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty (Assiniboine/Sioux), Jessa Rae Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux), and Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock). Their superb craftsmanship and attention to detail imbue these figures with a remarkable presence and power, turning a centuries-old tradition into a contemporary art form.
Venue Description: Established by an act of Congress in 1989 and opened in 1994, the National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center is the 16th museum of the Smithsonian Institute. As the first museum to collaborate with the Native peoples of the western hemisphere, it helps protect and promote their cultures by exposing and explaining their practices and beliefs. The exhibits cover the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans and represent nearly all tribes of the United States, most of those of Canada, and many cultures from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. More than 8,000 works of aesthetic, religious, and historical significance are present in the museum alongside articles that were produced for everyday, utilitarian use. Exhibits cover the Paleo-Indian age to the contemporary era and include film and audiovisual collections, paper archives, and a photography archive of more than 300,000 images. Current exhibitions include works by Andrea Carlson, whose pieces reflect cultural narratives and stories; a collection of 39 drawings by Annie Pootoogook depicting social, economic, and cultural realities of the Canadian north; and Identity by Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses and Beauty Surrounds Us, including outfits and artifacts as well as two interactive media stations.
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