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Indepth Arts News:

"Plains Indian Museum to Reopen "
2000-06-17 until 2000-06-30
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
Cody, WY, USA

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center's Plains Indian Museum will reopen Saturday, June 17, 2000, with a new look and a new interpretation. Opening ceremonies begin at 10:00 a.m. to unveil the 3.8 million dollar reinterpretation of the Plains Indian Museum's art, artifacts, and programs.

This nine-month renovation project is a comprehensive reinterpretation of the Plains Indian Museum. The new Plains Indian Museum will tell the significant story of the lives of Plains Indian people, their cultures, traditions, values and histories, as well as the contexts of their lives today. This new interpretation will create, in the words of Plains Indian Museum Advisory Board member and Crow tribal historian Joseph Medicine Crow, a living, breathing place where more than just Indian objects are on display.

With its nationally significant collection, since 1979 the Plains Indian Museum has been a leader in promoting public recognition of the significance of Plains Indian art. That leadership moves to a new level. Curator Emma Hansen said, Through the permanent and special exhibitions of the reinterpreted Plains Indian Museum, visitors will learn, not only about the beautiful objects made by Indian people, but the stories of the people behind the objects and the special contexts in which these objects were made and used in daily and ceremonial life. The majority of the collection is from the early reservation period, circa 1880 to the present, and relates primarily to Northern Plains tribes, such as the Sioux, Crow, Arapaho, Shoshone, Cheyenne, with representative pieces from the Woodlands, Southwest and Northwest Coast.

The reinterpretation will now allow visitors to gain understanding and insight about Plains Indian cultures, traditions, and contemporary lives, as well as find relevancy in these issues for their own lives. Hansen added, This momentous Plains Indian Museum reinterpretation positions the Buffalo Bill Historical Center as one of the unsurpassed cultural institutions focusing on Indian art and cultures education. It also provides an important venue for residents of the region, including families and school groups, to recognize the cultural achievements of the Native people of the Great Plains.

The opening of the Plains Indian Museum coincides with the spectacular 19th annual Plains Indian Powwow being held June 17-18, 2000 in the Robbie Powwow Garden at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Dancers from all over North America compete in Cody for more than $10,000 in prize money. The Grand Entry occurs at both 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., on the 17th, and at noon on Sunday, the 18th.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center also offers educational activities and programs relating to the Plains Indian Museum. The Plains Indian Seminar in September brings together scholars from around the world to discuss topics relating to the culture and art of the Plains Indians.

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