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"South of the Border" at the NMAI

"South of the Border" at the NMAI robin maria delugan The National Museum of the American Indian (nmai) stands in nearly unobstructed proximity to the U.S. Capitol building, arguably the grandest symbol of U.S. political power. The fluid, organic, warm-toned architecture of the nmai contrasts sharply with the staid monumentality and winter-white hue of the Capitol. As the latest addition to the Smithsonian's cluster of national museums, the nmai is an institution of the U.S. federal government.1 Symbolizing the oft-uneasy if not contentious relationship between North American Indians and the United States, the intent of the nmai is to honor Native peoples.2 However, for some the nmai stands on the National Mall as a reminder of Native endurance from invasion, imperialism, and modern nation building; for others it signifies the destruction of Native sovereignty and the cooptation of Native cultures in a gesture of nation-state largesse. First time visitors to the nmai may be unaware of the museum's hemispheric scope. By creating a museum for Native peoples from the Arctic north to the tip of South America, the nmai extends our conventional notion of "American Indian," a term historically associated with tribes and nations within the United States. At the nmai, "American Indian" signifies all http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Indian Quarterly University of Nebraska Press

"South of the Border" at the NMAI

The American Indian Quarterly , Volume 30 (3) – Jun 9, 2006

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1534-1828
Publisher site
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Abstract

robin maria delugan The National Museum of the American Indian (nmai) stands in nearly unobstructed proximity to the U.S. Capitol building, arguably the grandest symbol of U.S. political power. The fluid, organic, warm-toned architecture of the nmai contrasts sharply with the staid monumentality and winter-white hue of the Capitol. As the latest addition to the Smithsonian's cluster of national museums, the nmai is an institution of the U.S. federal government.1 Symbolizing the oft-uneasy if not contentious relationship between North American Indians and the United States, the intent of the nmai is to honor Native peoples.2 However, for some the nmai stands on the National Mall as a reminder of Native endurance from invasion, imperialism, and modern nation building; for others it signifies the destruction of Native sovereignty and the cooptation of Native cultures in a gesture of nation-state largesse. First time visitors to the nmai may be unaware of the museum's hemispheric scope. By creating a museum for Native peoples from the Arctic north to the tip of South America, the nmai extends our conventional notion of "American Indian," a term historically associated with tribes and nations within the United States. At the nmai, "American Indian" signifies all

Journal

The American Indian QuarterlyUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jun 9, 2006

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