The American Wing of the storied Metropolitan Museum of Art has long held a collection of typically “American” artifacts: portraits of wigged colonial leaders, Tiffany chandeliers, Frank Lloyd Wright chairs, silver owned by Paul Revere Jr., quilts by unknown 19th-century makers.
The word Cherokee is believed to have evolved from a Choctaw word meaning “Cave People.” It was picked up and used by Europeans and eventually accepted and adopted by Cherokees in the form of Tsalagi or Jalagi.
- Series of vintage portraits were taken by American photographer Edward S. Curtis 100 years ago
- Curtis spent 30 years documenting Native American life from Louisiana to Alaska
- He took more than 40,000 photographic images of 80 different tribal groups across America
- It formed part of his monumental project The North American Indian, which is now a significant record
The systematic destruction of the Native Americans, First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and their entire way of life was not only one of recorded history’s greatest tragedies, but, as with the slave trade, deeply spiritually wounding to all involved.
The utter decimation of their culture is one of the most shameful aspects of our history, the extent of the damage still being down-played and denied entry into textbooks and history-lessons to this day.
“The Cherokees have lived in the Southeastern United States for over 10,000 years.Cherokees developedand cultivated corn, beans and squash – “the three sisters” – along with sunflowers and other crops.
Archaeological evidence, early written accounts, and the oral history ofthe Cherokees themselves show the Cherokees as a mighty nation controlling more than 140,000 square miles with a population of thirty-six thousand or more. Often the townhouse stood on an earthen mound, which grew with successive ceremonial re-buildings.”