Yesterday my wife and I rode the Amtrak to DC where we visited the main facility of the National Museum of the American Indian, located on the national mall next to the Capitol Building.
I’m posting about this museum in my interfaith blog because the spiritual beliefs and practices of several widely dispersed first-nation peoples are featured on the fourth floor, which is where visitors are advised to begin their tour. When you step out of the elevator you’ll see a beautiful starry sky.
The heavens drew the attention of native peoples, giving them ample material for creation stories. Several are portrayed in videos on this floor.
If you visit the museum, I’d advise taking the orientation tour, led by a native American guide. Ours was from the Apache nation. We began the tour on the ground floor at the potomac, the place where native people customarily meet and goods are exchanged.
The museum’s architecture is meant to convey unity with nature. The stone used is a light beige; and most of the surfaces are rounded, as in nature. The grounds around the museum are planted with numerous varieties of trees, shrubs, and grasses native to the Washington DC region.
If you want to learn through all your senses, then plan to eat in the museum’s cafe, where you’ll find ethnic dishes from five regions of the Americas. My wife and I chose the northern woodlands. Our lunch included a wild rice salad with pine nuts, cranberries, and watercress; a side dish of wild artichokes; and another of succotash made with brown beans and corn. And for desert (not from the northern woodlands region) tapioca pudding and guava sauce. Yum!
There are a few more pictures from our trip at my Flickr photo stream.