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Tag: Native Americans

Native Fruit: Cranberry for all Seasons

Is there a food in North America more intrinsically linked with the landscape of the past and nostalgically intertwined with a holiday feast than the cranberry? From Cranberry Lakes in Nova Scotia, Cranberry River of West Virginia, Cranberry Pond in Sunderland, Massachusetts, the Cranberry Isles of Maine, Cranberry Mountain in New York, Cranberry Meadow in New Jersey, and many a Cranberry Bog dotting coastal areas, the plant deserves the appellation of First or Founding Fruit. It is one of the indigenous foods in North America widely cultivated today. The narratives of the places where the berries once grew wild and of the loss of these habitats can be recovered from historical sources.

Spotlight on Native American Artists

EL Photo
Photo of Edmonia Lewis from the National Portrait Gallery. NPG.94.95.

Native Americans have had a tremendous impact in numerous arenas of American life. This is particularly true in the visual arts. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month we’re highlighting artists of American Indian descent who have had a significant presence in the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library’s collections.

Potawatomi Vocabulary Manuscript Added to Transcription Center

Title page from A vocabulary of the Po-da-wahd-mih Language by Joseph N. Bourassa, 1843.
Title page from A vocabulary of the Po-da-wahd-mih Language by Joseph N. Bourassa, 1843.

J.N. Bourassa’s A Vocabulary of the Po-da-wahd-mih Language is the latest addition from the Libraries to the Smithsonian Transcription Center. The Vocabulary was transcribed around 1890 from the original, which dates to 1843. The Potawatomi have traditionally inhabited the Upper Mississippi River region as well as Indiana and Kansas, and are making efforts to promote the use of their native language, a sub-group of the Algonquian language family.

Historical Sioux Tribal Newspapers See the Light of Day

"Anpao" newspaper being digitized.
“Anpao Kin” newspaper, ready for scanning.

This post was contributed by Ann Juneau, Department Head, National Museum of Natural History Library.

A determined need to know more about their heritage and history is what drove the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota to want to digitize two newspapers of their ancestors in the Dakotas. First contacting the American Indian Studies Research Institute at Indiana University, The Community began their quest.  The communique for assistance then went on to a Smithsonian Institution emeritus anthropologist, and close colleague of the Institute’s director, and the kinetic energy was established.