FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) will unveil an expanded and revitalized permanent exhibition on the Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau on April 15, giving deeper insights to the 10 tribes that have called the region home for centuries.
It is the first major renovation of the museum's Native American exhibition in nearly forty years, and more than doubles the number of objects showcased from MNA's extensive collection.
In an approach that is being viewed as trailblazing, curators of the exhibition partnered with 42 members of the Colorado Plateau tribes to select the 342 items being displayed. The tribal consultants also determined the exhibition's themes and developed the educational content that will put the objects and photographs into historical and cultural context.
The collaboration between MNA curators and the tribal representatives ensures that the gallery not only illuminates but respects the people and cultures it explores and the spiritual importance of the traditions they are sharing.
"For us, tribal knowledge is sacred, and much of it cannot be shared with everyone," said Ophelia Watahomigie-Corliss, a Havasupai council member who helped create the exhibition. "Traditional knowledge is taught by our elders and given when one is ready. Parts can only be known by specially prepared individuals. Here, we are sharing knowledge that we are comfortable giving to the world."
The materials in the exhibition are from the Zuni, Acoma, Southern Ute, Southern Paiute, Hopi, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai, Dilzhe'e Apache, and Diné (Navajo) communities. Items in the displays will run the gamut from weavings, pottery and fine silverwork to toys, tools and even a skateboard.
Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the firm behind the transformation of the American Museum of Natural History and the displays of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, designed the exhibit.
About the Museum of Northern Arizona: Founded in 1928, the mission of the MNA is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region's natural and cultural heritage. The Museum, located at 3101 N. Ft. Valley Rd. in Flagstaff, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
SOURCE The Museum of Northern Arizona