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Totems to Turquoise

October 30, 2004 — July 10, 2005

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For thousands of years, the Native peoples of North America have made extraordinary jewelry and other adornments. Today throughout the continent that tradition is still alive—and vibrant.

Native jewelry employs a visual language that communicates on many levels. Bracelets, belts, and rings embody complex cultural beliefs and symbols, but in miniature. Like other Native arts, jewelry provides evidence of a rich, living tradition, passed down from elders and mentors to the next generation. Today's talented artists respect age-old traditions—and yet reinvent them in exciting and sometimes surprising new ways.

The educational materials and programs for the Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History were supported in part by:

Barbara G. Fleischman
Phylis P. Fogelson