top of page
  • Writer's pictureKevin Pourier

National Museum of the American Indian Visit

Thirteen years ago in 2005 I was a participant in a program that the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian had for artists to travel to the east coast and research museum collections.

The program went on for 15 years or so. I was one of 60 or so artists that were fortunate to have been selected. A few years ago the program was cancelled.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the NMAI to be a part of a small group to help try to come up with ideas to revive the program. There were 5 of us selected from around the country. I was very honored to be one of the five.

It was a quick trip to DC. One day meeting with lots to cover. We started first thing in the morning and covered everything about how the program effected us as artists. For one hour in the afternoon we were welcomed to go into the archives and look at artifacts from our areas. It was one of the fastest hours in my life! I looked at everything I could in that short hour. It was great to see some of the things I saw on my first trip there. One of the pieces that I saw was actually a piece that I made and the NMAI purchased some years back. I was so moved when I saw the piece! I was a horn spoon titled "Conquered No More". It showed a herd of buffalo running over the top of Mt. Rushmore and breaking it in two. The piece was stored next to other spoons and cups that my Ancestors had made from the 1800's. It definitely had good company. Still it made me sad to leave it behind again. To reconnect with it though was like seeing an old friend from years back.

Here are a few photos from my trip back east.

So many drawers of items to look through,. 15 ft high!

"Conquered No More", Buffalo Horn Spoon in the NMAI Collections

"Conquered No More" Buffalo Horn Spoon in the Smithsonian's NMAI collections

Two of the artists that were part of the program discussion.

Buffalo Horn Spoon with Quillwork, tin cone, and horse hair

Buffalo Horn Cup. Brass Tacks, quill work and tin cones and leather

Small Buffalo Horn Spoon, Personal spoon with quillwork and tin cone and feather.

"Ration Card" Wandering Wolf's ration card from 1883

Toys, Doll and doll dress

Me and the NMAI staff looking at some amazing beaded items in the collections

Inlaid Buffalo Horn.

bottom of page