Years ago, before Columbus sailed the ocean blue and stumbled across the vast land that would become America, thousands of native peoples occupied the terrain. While the inhabitants — distinguished by tribes, bands, and clans — were diverse in their religions and practices, a fundamental idea united them all. Animism, or the belief that the universe is bound by spirits within nature, is an essential concept in Native American culture and remains eminent in the beliefs, practices, stories and art that is still celebrated by contemporary Native Americans.
As part of a Diverse Voices series, the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum will host Traditions, Change & Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast, a year-long exhibit celebrating the continuance of tradition in a contemporary context. Beadwork, pottery, carvings, woven blankets and other traditional art by renowned native artists will be showcased. In addition to the more than 150 exquisite items the exhibit will feature festive music, dance and food.
“As artists we celebrate our tribal culture, the family, our heritage, our ancient symbology, the earth, spirituality and the ancient ones with works of art that bring celebration and joy,” says Dr. Will Moreau Goins, guest co-curator and South Carolina Folk Heritage Awardee, “Artistic expression is necessary for spiritual replenishment, revival, renewal and rebirth within our tribal communities and cultures.”
The exhibit will run from Aug. 8, 2014 through June 25, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Aug. 23, 2014. For more information visit the McKissick Museum’s website: www.artsandsciences.sc.edu.