November is Native American Heritage Month! The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, and many other organizations across the nation are participating by paying tribute to Native American ancestry and traditions. One of our favorites is The Circle of Dance, a current exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian in New York.
The exhibit highlights the role of body movement in communication and expression. Across time and cultures, people all over the world use dance to tell stories, mourn, pray, and celebrate. The Circle of Dance exhibit shows how music and dance shaped the spiritual, cultural, and social lives of the Native American people.
According to Cecile R. Ganteaume, curator of the Circle of Dance exhibition, “When people have deep ancestral claims to their dances, the traditions also bind communities to the past.” All the elements that go into a dance – from the choreography to the use of music and costume – are reflective of a community’s customs and beliefs.
Click here to learn more about the exhibit.
Looking to participate in Native American Heritage Month? Here are a few events and exhibits dedicated to the rich culture:
• Connecting American Indian and Federal Libraries
• Ceramics! An American Indian Heritage Month Celebration
• American Indian Heritage Month Celebration for Kids
• American Indian Flute Music
• “Honoring Tribal Legacies” – Handbook and Sample Curriculum
• Why Treaties Matter – Traveling Exhibition
• National Park Service Travel Itineraries
Images from the Smithsonian Institution.