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About our native American friends.

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  • bhvwd
    We visited the native American museum in DC.I would say the government views the tribes with less enthusiasm than most of the tribes themselves. The location
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2009
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      We visited the native American museum in DC.I would say the government views the tribes with less enthusiasm than most of the tribes themselves. The location of the museum , east of the Mississippi slants the display toward the forest tribes of the east coast with less emphasis on the planes tribes . The building itself is most remarkable with a sandstone construction that mimics the natural in a way that conflicts with the classical renderings of the rest of the mall. Stone age man could have little but a head on collision with modern man.
      The theme is one of natural simplicity. We were invited to look back ,into a past that drifts back to the hunter gatherers. I understand there are many theories as to how the primal people arrived on this hemisphere. The real feeling of the place lies before Europeans brought all the inventions of early modernity. Stone tools were the limit of technology. Native plants surround the building with beans,squash,peppers and maze growing all over the grounds. It makes for a wild, unruly patch in the middle of a great modern city.
      It seems the curators cared a great deal for the inventions of Europe as the swords of conquistadors, smooth bores and rifled long guns and bayonets and daggers of cold steel fill drawer after drawer . Were this a museum of Japanese history they might have hung the Enola Gay from the rafters. The federalist view of native Americans is that they are a conquered people that has been assimilated. Most of the Indian peoples I have met beg to differ.
      It is said that history is the story of the winners but our five hundred years of conquest is only a moment compared to the multi millenia these people existed here.
      The museum is one of contrast and a meaningful attempt to show multiple cultures as they seem to have been. Gone,gone,no more,no more . Bill
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