“Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art” Makes Its Debut Inside The American Adventure

Epcot's American Heritage Gallery at The American Adventure opened the doors on a new art exhibit last week. The 89 cultural pieces on display represent 40 different American Indian tribes from seven geographic regions across the United States. "Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art" is an exciting exhibition that is now open for Guests to explore.


Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian ArtCreating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art


"Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art" features some prominent names from diverse Native American communities that are putting their own spin on traditional arts. The displays from contemporary Native artists stand alongside artifacts from centuries past, and demonstrate how ancestral craftsmanship influences modern generations. The collection on display at Walt Disney World was curated with two the help of two museum partners dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian are both committed to bringing Native voices into the modern conversation.

The opening dedication ceremony on July 27th, 2018 for "Creating Tradition" included a blessing from Seminole Tribe of Florida representative Bobby Henry, Miss Florida Seminole, Cheyenne Kippenberger, and a stomp dance performance by Seminole tribe members.


Seminole Indian Medicine Man and Rainmaker, Bobby HenrySeminole Indian Medicine Man and Rainmaker, Bobby Henry


Highlighted Works On Display Include:

    The "Ancient Resonance" dress by fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), who used the patterns on a jar made in the 1900s by an Acoma Pueblo potter as inspiration.
    "Mother's Womb," a basket made 2011 by Cherish Nebeshanze Parrish (Potawatomi/Odawa) using the same historical techniques as a Pokagon Potawatomi black ash hamper basket, made in the early 1900s.
    "Raven and the Box of Daylight," a 2017 glass sculpture by Preston Singletary (Tlingit), and the 19th century Chilkat blanket that compliments it. This piece shows how Singletary experiments with designs from his Tlingit heritage in mediums reaching beyond traditional Native materials.
    Intricate American Indian Beadwork techniques are on display with pieces by noted heritage doll makers Juanita Growing Thunder and her Grandmother Joyce Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux).



Raven and the Box of DaylightRaven and the Box of Daylight
Heritage doll by Joyce and Juanita Growing ThunderHeritage doll by Joyce and Juanita Growing Thunder


Continuing Disney's tradition of incorporating multiple mediums for exploring an attraction into the museum exhibit, "Creating Tradition" offers three interactive video exhibits where contemporary American Indian artists share perspectives on their work and culture. When guests wave their hands in front of a display resembling a campfire, the "flames" transform into a video presentation. In addition, the moving music playing throughout the gallery, has also been performed by Native musicians, supporting the objects and regions on display.


Ancient Resonance DressAncient Resonance Dress


Just as art and culture continue to grow and build upon each other so will this unique exhibit. With vast resources of diverse peoples to draw from over the next five years, the exhibition will be periodically updated to feature new artifacts and refreshed displays, incorporating pieces from more of the 573 American Indian tribes recognized by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Be sure to make a stop in at the American Heritage Gallery inside The American Adventure pavilion on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

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