Highlights From “Infinity of Nations”

A new exhibition explores thousands of years of artwork from the Native nations of North, Central and South America

Contemporary Northern Cheyenne artist Bently Spang wove together photographic negatives and prints of his family’s Montana ranch to design a variation on a traditional war shirt. (Walter Larrimore, National Museum of the American Indian)

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Anishinaabe Outfit Woodlands
(Maura McCarthy)
Many Colonial soldiers in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries avidly sought traditional Native American garments. This outfit, however, was a gift to Lt. Andrew Foster, a British soldier in the War of 1812, from the Anishinaabe on the occasion of a ritual adoption, a ceremony that recognized a foreigner, or meyaagizid, as kin, or inawemaagen. While most items in the ensemble are Anishinaabe, the loom-woven quillwork on the moccasins is from the Wendat community near Detroit, and the pipe stems, quiver, shield, shield cover and crooked knife resemble Sioux weaponry. The outfit reflects a period of considerable confluence of indigenous cultures in the central Great Lakes area between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

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