Three Native Americans photographed as part of an exhibition celebrating their culture, which is on display at the American Museum, are coming to the UK as part of a series of events.
Spirit Hawk Eye is a photographic exhibition created by Heidi Laughton celebrating American Native Culture currently on display within the American Museum from March to 1st November 2015.
Three of the Native Americans photographed are coming to the UK for a special in-house residency between 18th and 25th July.
Sarita McGowan, member of the Iowa Tribe, Comanche artist Nocona Burgess, and Chumash educator, Alan Salazar, will provide a fascinating experience for visitors of every age.
Richard Wendorf, Director of the The American Museum, said: “The Museum is delighted to be hosting this cultural season inspired by Spirit Hawk Eye which will provide a unique insight in to the lives and traditions of our Native American guests and an opportunity to meet them face-to-face.
“We are truly grateful to Heidi and to the supporters of the Museum for their generous donations which have made this possible.”
You can join Sarita McGowan for an introduction to the history and traditional culture of the Ioway.
She is also running a workshop to create a Handmade Medicine Pouch, traditionally worn for protection and to honour the ancestors, containing sage, cedar, kinikinick (tobacco), and personal objects.
Sarita will demonstrate the Women’s Northern Traditional Buckskin dance. Experience the beauty and elegance of this dance and talk to Sarita about her handmade traditional regalia, and contemporary Ioway culture.
Painter Nocona Burgess is the great-great grandson of legendary Comanche Chief Quanah Parker whose story is reflected in Nocona’s work.
Nocona is leading a workshop ‘Painting Outward – Colour Theory in Practice’; an opportunity to explore contrasts between vivid colour and dark surfaces, and to apply colour and glazing onto a dark background. Young Artists (age 8+) will also be able to explore Nocona’s technique of painting with vibrant colour onto different coloured backgrounds and discover how to use spray paint and stencilling techniques to create a textile effect.
Alan Salazar will be engaging adults and children alike in a delightful Chumash Storytelling session incorporating traditional tales, songs, and music.
Alan will also be giving a talk on the Chumash History and Maritime Legacy, and about the quest to build and sail a traditional Chumash ocean canoe from the California mainland to Santa Cruz Island.
For Spirit Hawk Eye, photographer Heidi Laughton has created a series of portraits that reveal aspects of present-day Native cultural practices and reflect ‘the traditional influences and remarkable stories of her subjects.’
Heidi has chosen to celebrate ‘the colourful, reverent, spiritual, artistic and enduring elements of tribal communities.’
These arresting portraits are integrated within the main Collection of the Museum in a special exhibition.
Despite many years of persecution, the cultural heritage of different communities has survived to be passed down to future generations.
The American Heritage Galleries at the Museum reflect the diverse history and culture of Native Americans.
Wendorf commented: “The American Museum houses historic collections of native American objects, and is committed to an accurate and sensitive portrayal of native American histories.
“In addition to providing a historic perspective we would also like to give visitors an insight into the richness and diversity of contemporary Native cultures.
“We aim to work with Native people to tell their own stories wherever possible.”
The Museum owns an important collection of studio portraits by Frank A. Rinehart and Adolph F. Mühr that commemorates the 1898 Indian Congress attended by delegates from 23 different tribes.
Native American decorative arts are also featured within the Collection, demonstrating how colour and linear design were used for decoration of simple domestic objects.
With the arrival of the Europeans, new colours and materials were incorporated and Native American craftsmen created basketry, beadwork, and pottery acclaimed for their form as well as their function.
The evolution of this art form is reflected in the displays on the lower level of the Museum.
Coming right up to date, the Collection displays examples of contemporary work by modern Native artists demonstrating how they continue to explore the cultural traditions of their tribes, combining traditional media with modern techniques.