Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Museum of the American Indian

While we visited family in Maryland, we made sure to take the time and visit The Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Seems like it was a while ago, but it was only last week!

One of the first exhibits we visited was a picture book written by an American Indian. It was a series of books, the first two of which were on display. The most interesting part was probably the original paintings all around the area which were used in the printing of the book. That was neat just from the perspective of paintings being turned into prints in the books.
There were displays of beadwork and other artifacts. The drawers underneath the displays showed off even more of the collections. There were also cases full of pointed projections- aka arrowheads.

How cool is this cradle board?

We thought one of the best displays was on Indians today and there was a whole section just for the Inuit. I-6 claims this tribe as his favorite.

The cafeteria features native foods to the different regions of the US. The fry bread below is in the southwest section. I had a great buffalo taco!

Dan went with the northwest region and had mushroom and seaweed salad, salmon, and mashed potatoes with beet juice. Mmmmm...(I actually tasted the salad though)

The architecture of the building is pretty wild. In this atrium like spot there were prisms on the far wall that would shine the rainbows on the other parts of the room. When we left J3 said, "It was fun in the wiggling building!" The outer walls have wiggles in them for sure. He's a natural.

The view out of the museum next to the statue below. You can see more of the Smithsonian out there. I so wanted to get down to the Museum of American History- one of my favorites of all time! It has just reopened after a two year renovation. Where else can you see Dorothy's ruby slippers, Fonzi's jacket, and the first ladies' gowns/presidential collections?

This sculpture depicts the help the colonists received during the Revolutionary War. The kids had a wonderful time looking all around the bottom to find the weapons buried beneath the tree.

All in all a fantastic trip! The highlight was probably taking the train into the city. I haven't been on the metro in years and the kids loved it. Visiting the Smithsonian is always a treat. Living inside of two hours from the city my whole life, it is hard to get used to not living so close anymore. It was always right there! As a teacher, we'd take our kids every year to the Smithsonian. What a joy to take 170 students downtown and sit in shifts at the first aid blanket on the mall in May! Then when we weren't on duty at the blanket we were free to explore the buildings ourselves.

If you are a reader who has never been, it is so worth your time! Another favorite of mine is the National Archives where you can see actual documents like The Declaration of Independence. The last time I was there, the Magna Carta was on display! Of course there's Air and Space, Natural History, National Muesum of Art...oh you just have to go there!!

This trip was the perfect icing on our Native American unit. I'm so glad we were able to go!


Amber said...

I love D.C. It is one of my favorite cities. We live about 3 hours from there and try to go once a year. I have never been to the Museum of the American Indian, it's now on my list!

Shannon said...

We were just there in November and loved it - the whole city! We only had a couple hours at the American Indian Museum but we did get to try some of their delicious food. What a wonderful city - how cool that you lived so close!

Heather said...

Well if it was like ours Shannon, then it was the most expensive lunch you've ever eaten!! ha!

Holly said...

I haven't been to D.C. since the 8th grade! I'd really like to take our kids... in a few more years, we had a wild ride today and it was only 2 hours lol... and if blogger would quit having problems with my pictures I could get it blogged about!