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Osiyo, tsilugi: Hello and Welcome to Tribalpedia!
The information for each tribe was obtained from various sources including the Tribal websites, Wikipedia, and other educational sites involved in Native Indian history. We have condensed the material from all of these sources to make it easier for you to read. Note that not every tribe is listed. There are records for over 4000 Native American tribes, but only 513 are still recognized by the US Government. This is an ongoing project and information will be added on a continuing basis.

Scroll down for Museum Exhibitions

For Teachers, there are links to complete Lesson Plans with Answer Keys for the following Tribes:

Tribes Located in the United States and Canada (Kwakiutl):

Background image: Dowa Yalanne, Zuni. Photo courtesy of R.Deck.
Note: Dowa Yalanne (Zuni: “Corn Mountain”) is sacred to the Zuni people. The mesa is a place for shrines and religious activities, and is closed to outside visitors.
Read more about Dowa Yalanne in our Zuni entry.
As always, thanks to Chuck Houpt

CHRISTMAS 2021

Excerpt: Christmas Across Indian Country, During the Pandemic and Before, Smithsonian, NMAM, December 22nd, 2020

Hogan in the Snow, Painted by Robert Draper (Diné [Navajo], 1938–2000)

In contemporary times, traditional powwow singing groups have rearranged Christmas songs to appeal to Native audiences. A humorous example is Warscout’s NDN 12 Days of Christmas, from their album Red Christmas. Native solo artists also perform Christmas classics in Native languages. Rhonda Head (Cree), for example, has recorded Oh Holy Night, and Jana Mashpee (Lumbee and Tuscarora) Winter Wonderland sung in Ojibwe.

Holiday ornaments created by schoolchildren for the Capitol Christmas Tree Campaign to decorate a holiday tree at the museum on the National Mall.

From left to right: Three ornaments made by unnamed Pikumi (Blackfeet Nation) students, 2008. Blackfeet Reservation, Montana. 26/7446, 26/7451 and 26/7454. An ornament representing a rattle made by Shelbey (family name not recorded, Yavapai), 2009. Prescott, Arizona. 26/7716. A snowman ornament made by Ayanna (family name not recorded, Tohono O’odham), 2009. Arizona. 26/7717 National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian

Native communities host traditional tribal dances and powwows on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Among the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest special dances take place, such as buffalo, eagle, antelope, turtle, and harvest dances. The Eight Northern Pueblos perform Los Matachines—a special dance-drama mixing North African Moorish, Spanish, and Pueblo cultures—takes place on Christmas Eve, along with a pine-torch procession.

For Native artisans, this is traditionally the busy season as they prepare special Christmas gift items. Artists and craftsmen and women across the country create beadwork, woodwork, jewelry, clothing, basketry, pottery, sculpture, paintings, leatherwork, and feather work for special Christmas sales and art markets that are open to the public. For the 15 years before 2020, the National Museum of the American Indian held its annual Native Art Market in New York and Washington a few weeks before Christmas. This year, the in-person event was replaced by an online program of interviews with artists from earlier Art Markets, Healing through Native Creativity.

Friends shared these Christmas plans and memories in 2019 and 2018

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Maxine Noel

Maxine Noel (born 1946) is a Canadian First Nations artist from the Santee and Oglala heritage. She was given the Sioux name Ioyan Mani (“walk beyond”).

Not Forgotten By Maxine Noel

Summer Wind, By Maxine Noel

She was born on the Birdtail Reserve in southwestern Manitoba. A self-taught artist, she first worked as a legal secretary in Edmonton and Toronto before becoming a full-time artist in 1979. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across Canada. She works with serigraphy, lithography, etching, painting and cast paper.

Her work is included in the collections of the Canadian Museum of History, the University of Western Ontario, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation in Toronto and the Whetung Ojibwa Centre. Read more about this wonderful Native artist wikipedia

Trinity, By Maxine Noel

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Roger Sosakete Perkins

Powwow  Pop Art’ and Perseverance

Roger Sosakete Perkins, left, and his cousin Jack Martin sit in front of Sosakete Perkins’ Faith Keeper. (Photo courtesy of Sosakete Perkins)

By Nanette Deetz, ICT

“Roger Sosakete Perkins, Mohawk, opens about his unique style, plus struggles he and other artists are facing during the pandemic.

Out of the hundreds of paintings Roger Sosakete Perkins has created, “Faith Keeper” is among his favorites. In the Mohawk tradition, the faith keeper’s job is to ensure the tribe’s young people learn its songs, dances and culture, and to find and encourage their hidden gifts…The pandemic has been hard for artists, especially those like Sosakete Perkins in the highly competitive and expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

-Bear Greeting- digital collage printed on canvas (Courtesy of R. Sosakete Perkins)

The artist best-known for his vivid “Powwow Pop Art” style — in which he “reclaims” old images of Native Americans that were once used in advertising — has kept working, creating new pieces that reflect his concern. But it hasn’t been easy.

‘It is a beautiful space, but no one will show up,’ he said…’So many of our families are now suffering terribly from unemployment, lack of food for elders, lack of computers for kids in school who need them in order to study from home,’ he said. ‘This area is one of the most expensive areas in the U.S. in which to live, so many of us are in survival mode. We need our community centers, health centers, and powwows to help us all survive and thrive.’

-Indn Star Wars- digital collage printed on canvas (Courtesy of R. Sosakete Perkins)

Sosakete Perkins graduated from the American Indian Institute of Arts, and relocated to Northern California in 2006. 

‘I use lots of imagery from companies and corporations who have used Native American images in order to sell their products,’ he said. ‘Basically, I am reclaiming our images that they expropriated without our permission, and reframing them in my own way.’

Sosakete Perkins’ artwork can be viewed on his Facebook page

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National Museum of the American Indian

November 16, 2019–Fall 2021

New York, NY

“Since 1940, many Native artists have pushed, pressed, and expanded beyond narrow, market-driven definitions of American Indian art. Drawing from the National Museum of the American Indian’s rich permanent collection, Stretching the Canvas presents nearly 40 paintings that transcend, represent, or subvert conventional ideas of authenticity.”

Tony Abeyta (navajo, b. 1965) Three Chanters, oil and mixed media on canvas

 

Acee Blue Eagle, Shield Dancer.

Artist- Judith Lowery

Dick West (1912–1996, Southern Cheyenne), Spatial Whorl, 1949–1950. Oil on canvas. Gift of Dwight D. Saunders, 2004. (26:5102)

 

G Peter Jemison Artist

Some Featured Artists:

Tony Abeyta (Navajo, b. 1965)

Rick Bartow (Mad River Wiyot, 1946–2016)

Acee Blue Eagle (Muscogee [Creek]/Pawnee, 1909–1959)

Julie Buffalohead (Ponca, b. 1972)

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T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America

New York, NY

One of the most influential, innovative, and talented Native American artists of the 20th-century, T.C. Cannon embodied the activism, cultural transition and creative expression that defined America in the 1960s and 1970s…At the Edge of America celebrates Cannon’s creative range and artistic legacy through numerous paintings and works on paper, as well as his poetry and music.

A Remembered Muse–By T.C. Cannon -Tosca-1978

 

Abbi of Bacabi (1978), among Cannon’s last and unfinished works-Harvard Magazine

 

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo:Kiowa), Two Guns Arikara, 1974–77. Photo by Thosh Collins

 

Jeffrey Veregge: Of Gods and Heroes

New York, NY

Jeffrey Veregge, Mysterious Planet, 2017. Courtesy of Jeffrey Veregge.

This exhibition will feature a new narrative creation by the Salish artist known for his bold blend of Northwest Coast form line and pop-culture figures. This site-specific work will include an epic battle between Marvel characters and aliens invading the streets of New York City.

 

L. J. Vargas was born in 1979 and is of Taino Indian and Puerto Rican ancestry. He is a prolific artist and Landscape Designer currently working in Massachusetts.

A fetish is an inanimate object treasured  because it is considered to be inhabited by an animal spirit, such as a wolf, badger, bear or eagle.  Some fetishes come with strength or health bundles attached.   The bundles may include herbs, leaves, arrow heads, rocks, and pieces of turquoise.  Traditionally, fetish carvers have been the Zuni people, however,  artists from other tribes have also created beautiful fetishes.

Bear  Fetish: The Bear represents healing and protection. He is associated with the color blue and he is known for his curative powers. Characteristics associated with the bear are strength, courage, healing, adaptability and spiritual communion.

Taíno Perseverance  NYC exhibit at National Museum of the American Indian

Taino Puerto Rican Indians in modern day.

“The Indigenous peoples of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean are not extinct and they never were. ‘Todavía estamos aquí (we are still here)’: this is the powerful message of the modern Taíno movement and the foundation of “Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean,” a new exhibition presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.

“The term Taíno most directly refers to the diverse Arawak-speaking peoples of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) and their descendants.

Cubans reclaim their Taino Indian heritage. Smithsonian Magazine.

Though the Indigenous peoples’ numbers greatly dwindled upon contact with European colonizers, they survived disease, enslavement and brutality. Currently, a Native heritage movement involving Taíno descendants is growing throughout the Greater Antilles and in diasporic Caribbean communities in the United States, such as the region around New York City.

The Moxum family have mixed Native roots. Mr. Norman Moxum is of Arawak-descent, and his wife, Yolanda Moxum, comes from a Miskito community in Honduras. Photo Credit- John Homiak.

These diverse groups have established robust networks that continue the proud legacies of their Native ancestors, and “Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean” provides a framework for understanding the growth of this movement in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the United States.”

The exhibition is presented in English and Spanish 

Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean” begins with an overview of Taíno cultures before European contact, where visitors encounter emblematic objects associated with aspects of Native political and spiritual life that would drastically change after European colonization. One particularly important series of objects identified in the exhibition are cemís. Considered living objects by Taíno peoples, cemís are stone, wooden or cotton artifacts used in ceremony to connect with deities, ancestors and forces of nature. In all, 31 objects from the museum’s collection serve as focal points for the exhibition, 19 of which date back to pre-contact (ca. A.D. 800–1500). The exhibition demonstrates how archaeological objects from the ancestral past inform and inspire the present-day Taíno movement.”

For more information, including associated events, visit The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian