Our very first stop during our vacation to Washington, D.C., last week was the National Museum of the American Indian, one of the Smithsonian museums, sadly a bit lesser-known than some.
It is an amazing museum! Of course, we're big into American Indians right now (we're just finishing the fourth book of the Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynn Reid Banks, titled "The Mystery of the Cupboard," and getting ready to start the fifth, "The Key to the Indian") - so this museum was a must-see!
We've got a ton of photos from our trip, and visited so many places, so what I'm hoping to do over the next couple of weeks is share just the highlights of what we learned and what topics we hope to explore further as a family.
Interestingly, the words various tribes created for horse were not based on how the animal looked, but instead, what function it performed. As a fairly domesticated animal good for hauling items... that meant, to them, the horse was most like the dog, which they'd previously used to haul travois. (PS - in the photo above, I was just glad to be able to SHOW Sarah a travois, because I'd done a pretty terrible job explaining what one was!)
As someone who's fascinated by language, this dog/horse thing really resonated with me, and I'm personally interested in reading more about some Native American etymology now!
That exhibit, by the way, is awesome. The little purple "passport" book Chris is holding up is free and holds stamps from throughout the exhibit of different tribes' official seals, which you get when you've read about them or participated in an activity about them. We all really loved it!
One part of the museum in which I didn't take pictures was an exhibit on Native Americans in the Olympics - and that's where Sarah learned about Jim Thorpe!
Her souvenir from this museum, in fact, was Jim's biography - and she's already started reading it, and says she wants to visit the town of Jim Thorpe, here in Pennsylvania, which renamed itself in his honor after his death!