October 01, 2020
Written By: Andy Greenman
"An Oasis in the Bad Lands" by Edward Curtis shows a glimpse into the 19th century American West.
A carving of an Eagle Kachina dancer on display at The Native American Educational and Cultural Center®. An Eagle Kachina dancer takes part in ceremonies to appease their supernatural beings and offer the goods they possess.
While tourists leave the hills for the season, there’s no better time to explore The Indian Museum of North America® at Crazy Horse Memorial.
The museum holds a permanent collection of over 11,000 art objects and artifacts representing indigenous peoples from all over the world. Within the museum, The Native American Educational & Cultural Center® (NAECC) is more than just an exhibit hall. Built from the rock blasted from the memorial itself, the center serves to preserve native culture, heritage, and history.
The NAECC® is where history comes to life. Artisans from all backgrounds and disciplines come to share their craft with the public and provide a hands-on cultural exchange that is unique for every visitor. “It is the chance to see some one-of-a-kind things,” says Curator Andrew Dunehoo.
The center offers an ongoing Living Treasures program that brings artists from all over the continent to South Dakota to teach their craft. A daily one-hour workshop allows the public to converse and learn directly from the artists.
“That’s where you get to be immersed with the arts. And you can be close and personal with Native American artists,” Dunehoo added. “It’s a chance for people to do hands on activities with master native artists. They travel from all over.” The program has featured basket weaving, silversmithing, leatherwork and many other skills.
Award winning artist Roger Broer of Hill City will become the next artist in residence through the Living Treasures program. From October 11-17, Broer will conduct demonstrations of his burnishing techniques with printmaking at the NAECC. The workshops begin at 2:30 each afternoon and the public is encouraged to learn the indigenous culture.