Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Mohammed's NMAI diary entry

Last week I had field trip with my class to the National Museum of the American Indian. I met the class at the Bus stop. We took the shuttle to the Metro station. I sat with my teacher, Nina. The trip took almost 25 minutes. Then we walked from the Metro station to the museum.

The museum is not very big, but the designed is very good. It is obvious that the building is a traditional place. I think the architecture is very suitable and is similar to the old architecture.

In the museum, I saw many tools that were used in the past and many traditional clothes. My tribe’s name was Hupa. The Hupa people had three calendars rock called ch'ixochwe that sat in front of the church. One of the calendar rocks marks the 13 months. The ch'ixochwe rocks teach that the Hupa must do certain things each month, Out of respect for the k'ixanay (ancestors).

Hupa people believe that when they leave the world, all the ancestors go to a place where they dance forever. They have three dances. The first one is the White Deer Skin Dance. It is a plea for abundant harvest. They think it brings harmony back to them. The second one is the Brush Dance. It is a healing ceremony. They think the Brush Dance brings good luck. The third one is the Jump Dance. It is a ceremony to ward off misfortune. They think it drives bad things away. At lunch time, I left the museum and had lunch outside the museum. After that I went home by Metro. I had a good time in the museum. I hope to return to the museum because I am interested in history.

Hi Mohammed. What you wrote about the Hupa indians is quite interesting and made me think of the role of dancing in different cultures and countries. I am from Venezuela and we have completely different traditional dances depending on the geographical area we come from. In social parties, though, it is very common for us to dance "salsa", a typical rhythm in the Caribbean. What is the role of dancing in your country, if I may ask? Thanks for sharing such educational information in your blog entry. Regards, Berta from Caracas :-)
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