Wonders on Wheels Exhibit, Featuring New MexicoÂ’s Native American Tribes, Sets Out on the Road in 2018
December 2nd, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2017 (Santa Fe, NM)—Wonders on Wheels mobile museum presents a unique look at the twenty-four Native American tribal communities of New Mexico, told through the eyes of Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo children. Administered by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), the museum continues its outreach to the many rich and diverse communities that make up the Land of Enchantment. This exhibit was guest curated by Dr. Jessie Ryker-Crawford (Ojibway) and Dr. Shelley Valdez (Laguna Pueblo), president of Native Pathways, a non-profit educational company.
The importance of traditional foods, plants, and animals, of dance and music, of the arts, and of family and elders are presented through exhibits and hands-on activities. Designed for visitors ages 4–14, the exhibits show kids the natural-dyed yarns that go into making beautiful Navajo rugs and let them feel the sheep wool while learning about weaving. Visitors will learn about the traditional clothing of New Mexico’s tribal people through a doll exhibit that features some of our state’s most talented tribal doll makers. Bows and arrows, atlatls, drums, and rattles are discussed and are there to be handled. Pottery activities, an interactive tribal map of New Mexico, and videos on corn, drum making, and honoring traditional Native American ways of living are featured within this dynamic exhibit.
The MIAC Native American Tribes of New Mexico exhibit was produced by a cohort of four Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo educators selected from each of the three land-based tribal groups: Melissa Henry (Navajo), Sherwin Sando (Jemez Pueblo), Mia Toya (Jemez Pueblo), and Ina Montoya (Jicarilla Apache). Program partner Dr. Carnell Chosa (Jemez Pueblo) from the Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School provided pre-program support. These educators include elementary and middle-school teachers, art teachers, and language teachers. They have built their lesson plans around their specific tribal groups, and their curriculum is delivered by trained educators who engage students and the audience through storytelling, lecture, and guided activities.
The WoW traveling exhibit is installed within a specially retrofitted 38-foot RV featuring 300 square feet of exhibit and interactive spaces all delivered through curriculum-based programming targeted toward kindergarten–8th grade students. This exhibit will travel to public and tribal schools, libraries, and community-based institutions throughout New Mexico, offering full family programming at each stop. In this way, MIAC and DCA are providing critical museum-based educational experiences to students who live too far away from, or don’t otherwise have access to DCA museums and historic sites.
Caption: Aimed at students aged 4–14, the Wonders on Wheels mobile museum’s latest exhibit presents a unique look at the twenty-four Native American tribal communities of New Mexico, told through the eyes of Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo children. It hits the road in 2018.
To request a visit from the Wonders on Wheels mobile museum, contact Jamie Brytowski, mobile museum education program, 505-476-1171, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology:
As the 19th century closed, one of the Southwest’s major "attractions" was its vibrant Native American culture. In response to unsystematic collecting by Eastern museums, anthropologist Edgar Lee Hewett founded the Museum of New Mexico in 1909 with a mission to collect and preserve Southwest Native American material culture. Several years later, in 1927, John D. Rockefeller founded the renowned Laboratory of Anthropology with a mission to study the Southwest’s indigenous cultures. In 1947, the two institutions merged, bringing together the most inclusive and systematically acquired collection of New Mexican and Southwestern anthropological artifacts in the country. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April, closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. 710 Camino Lejo off Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87504, Phone: (505) 476-1269. Events, news releases and images about activities at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and other in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.
About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs: http://www.newmexicoculture.org/
Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs represents New Mexico’s dedication to preserving and celebrating the cultural integrity and diversity of our state. The Department oversees a broad range of New Mexico’s arts and cultural heritage agencies, which include 15 divisions representing a variety of programs and services. Among its primary functions is the management of the largest state sponsored museum system in the country. New Mexico’s historic sites and state-run museums are located across the state and include: New Mexico Historic Sites, Statewide; New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo; New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque; New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque. The Department also oversees the New Mexico State Library, Historic Preservation Division, New Mexico Arts, and the Office of Archaeological Studies. Events, news releases and images about activities in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.
About The Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School:
The Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School was launched over 20 years ago based on the nonexistence of any forum to discuss the most critical policy issues that impact the Native tribes of New Mexico. Modeled after some of the nation’s top think tanks, the LI is unique due to its culturally and community-based approach and its emphasis on youth leadership development.
This MIAC exhibit was generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); Wonders on Wheels is made possible by the support of the J.F. Maddox Foundation, the SP and Estelle Yates Family Foundation, The Chase Foundation, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Indian Education Division of the New Mexico Public Education Department.
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