Burke Museum was alive with the sights and sounds of American heritage
over the weekend as the museum hosted the Native American Arts Celebration.
The event featured the traditions of tribes from the Puget Sound
region as well as Ecuador.
this annual event is built exclusively around the cultures of Northwest
American Indians, but in accordance with the museum's new exhibit,
Reverent Remembrance, directors decided to also host the Ecuadorian
culture this year, since the exhibit focuses on the ways that tribes
of both North and South America honor the dead.
wanted to include the cultures that we included in our new exhibit,"
said Martha Adler, public services supervisor for the museum.
musical group of Luis Gramal and his family played songs from the
Andean Day of the Dead celebration during which the Quichua tribe
of Ecuador would bid farewell to those who had passed on. The Gramal
family performed near its traditional altar.
cultures of the Puget Sound tribes were represented over the weekend
as well. Tsimshian singers and dancers Mique'l Askren and Michael
Dangeli incorporated traditional instruments and costumes in their
performances of songs that had been in Dangeli's family for as long
as six generations.
ask what we are going to do now that we have lost ourselves as a
people," said Dangeli of one of the songs.
were set up throughout the museum to showcase the work of several
artists. The event emphasized weaving, so the basement gallery of
the Burke featured several weavers working at their looms, available
for answering museum patrons' questions about the art.
the exhibitioners were Coast Salish weaver Susan Pavel, who gave
a lecture on the art of weaving Sunday, and Carlos Teran, who demonstrated
Ecuadorian weaving on a large, free-standing, wooden loom.
have been weaving my whole life," said Teran.
work of Makah carver Alex McCarty was also displayed in the lobby
of the museum. McCarty, like many other artists at the celebration,
said that cultural traditions must be preserved and nurtured, that
understanding is a vital part of this preservation.