Monday, January 26, 2004
The Genocide Exhibit...aka The Creek Nation, 1790
A weekend in Birmingham and a visit to the museum allowed us to tour a Creek Indian village and gave history about the Indians of the southeast. It wasn't nearly as ghoulish as the title suggests, I just always think that whenever I see Indian exhibits.
One of my museum pet peeves, especially history museums, is that they are created like a giant science fair project. A lot of simple words, nicely lettered around a fancy picture or object that you can't touch. Some of that is necessary for obvious reasons (e.g., something is too old or valuable to touch). And I guess audiophones provide a little more narrative.
What I like though is when they create scenes that let you participate in some way. Maybe they build a tipi in the room, and you can sit in there. This exhibit was really neat because (a) they let you experience stuff like that while doing a nice job of maximimizing a small space and (b) they had activities you could do (or kids could do if you were too embarrassed to try). For example, they had a "make a clay pot" area and a "place beads on the weaving and match the pattern" and simple versions of Indian games that you could play in the room. It was really quite impressive, considering they had not much more space than my maybe 800 sq.ft. apartment.
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