Washington DC – Day Trip 2 – Charles County

Continuing on a choice of venues for a Day Trip in Washington Metro, the aim is to learn more about Maryland’s pioneering women in time for March’s Women’s History Month.

This time, I’ll share from the oldest group, the Native Americans. Charles County is on the southern border of the City.

AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL CENTER
16812 Country Lane • Waldorf, Maryland 20601
301-372-1932 • 301-372-1932

This museum shows the life of Native American women and men before their inescapable European contact. It focuses is on Maryland’s indigenous people, but it also includes information about some other tribes. You can see a full-scale replica of a long house, as well as other items which represent life in the area by studying their tools, weapons and the arts. This center seeks to educate visitors on the art and culture of the Native American and hosts an annual Pow-Wow.

You can enjoy a drive outside the City in order to learn here, but if studying Native America is your passion, as it is mine, then you must return to the National Mall, in Washington DC to visit the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the Native American Indian (NMAI).

NMAI  is the sixteenth separate museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum which is dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of Native Americans.

The museum was established by an act of Congress in 1989 and started with its branch on Manhattan, in New York City, a poignant reminder of one of the historic points where the Native America’s journey was forever changed by the Europeans.

The curators of this museum work in collaboration with the Native peoples of the entire Western Hemisphere in order to protect and foster their cultures by: reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the tribal peoples’ voice.

The museum’s extensive collection, assembled largely by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957), encompasses a vast range of cultural material of extraordinary aesthetic, religious and historical significance, as well as articles produced for everyday, utilitarian use.You will be amazed at the craftsmanship and beauty of these objects.

In both the NY City and Washington, DC venues, the collections span all major culture areas of the Americas, representing virtually all tribes of the United States, most of those of Canada, and a significant number of cultures from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Chronologically, the collections include artifacts from Paleo-Indian all the way to contemporary arts and crafts, with exhibitions by major Native American artists, at times. The museum’s photography archive of more than 300,000 images depicting both historic and contemporary Native American life, is especially important.

The National Museum of the American Indian comprises three facilities, each designed following consultations between museum staff and Native peoples, and in all its activities NMAI acknowledges the diversity of cultures and the continuity of cultural knowledge among indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and Hawai’i.

NMAI strives to incorporate Native methodologies for the handling, documentation, care and presentation of collections, and seeks to foster respect from staff and visitor for the enduring contribution of native peoples.

Make sure you visit this museum!

NMAI on the National Mall
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
202-633-1000

HOURS
10 AM–5:30 PM daily; closed December 25.
(Exhibition spaces, café, and stores begin closing at 5:15 PM)

ADMISSION
Admission is free, and the building is fully accessible.

DIRECTIONS
You can find the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., on the National Mall between the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol Building.

TRANSPORTATION
Metro
L’Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Green/Yellow lines).
Exit Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums.

Bus
Lines 30, 32, 34–36—Friendship Heights/Southern Avenue

Parking
The museum does not have parking, but it is available by meter on the surrounding streets and in local paid parking garages, nearby. There are nine drop-off-only spaces on Maryland Avenue; accessible from 3rd Street, to help families with children or elderly members or handicapped people have a shorter walk to the Museums entry, but then the driver must park elsewhere.

Part 1: C&O Canal

Part 2: Maryland Women Pacesetters

Part 3:
Clara Barton, Rachel Carson

Part 4: Christa McAuliffe, Judith Resnick – Maryland political and science pioneering women

Part 5: Mother Jones, Rosalie Stier Calvert

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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