National Museum of the American Indian

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National Museum of the American Indian ( 640x480 )
The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. is the 18th of the Smithsonian Institution’s world-renowned museums. It features the life-ways, history and art of Native Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere. It is locate on the National Mall, aligned to the capital directions and to the centre point of the Capitol Dome.

The National Museum of the American Indian was established by an Act of Congress in 1989. The collection is distinguished by more than 800,000 works of aesthetic, cultural, historical and spiritual significance. This museum, in Washington D.C., opened on 21 September 2004 (there are other two sites of the National Museum of the American Indian; The George Gustav Heye Center in New York and Cultural Resources Center in Maryland).

The building was designed by Douglas Cardinal (Blackfoot) together with the team of Native American architects and consultants (e.g. Johnpaul Jones from tribe Cherokee / Choctaw and Ramona Sakiestewa from Hopi tribe). The design team’s vision to create a Native place on the National Mall was guided by ethno botanist Donna House (Navajo / Oneida). The grounds honour local Native people by featuring four environments indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay region, including hardwood forest, wetlands, cropland and meadow areas. It is draped in a golden-coloured Kasota limestone, designed to evoke natural rock formation that have been shaped by wind and water over thousands of years. The museum shows the perfect harmony between nature’s rough beauty and architectural elegance.

The building is filled with symbols and forms that reflect the Native universe, including representations of nature, astronomy and objects from the collection. It offers a range of exhibitions, film and video screenings, school group programs, public programs and living culture presentations throughout the year.
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