February 20, 2004

Shirt Show Opening
Last night, Sara and I attended the opening of the Native American shirt show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where she works. It’s a terrific exhibit, colorful and lively, with a great array of artifacts and a variety of native nations represented. It’s all shirts, jackets, and tunics from as earlier as 1820 and as late, really, as this this young century. Some are classic examples of Native American art and some are iconic, exceptional pieces; the shirt with 150 locks of hair, for example, and the shirt full of holes fabled to make its wearer invisible in battle. Good stuff, and recommended.

The opening was a treat in itself, complete with a spontaneous and charming tour by curator, nice guy and Sara’s boss, Joe Horse Capture. (How great a name is that?) Venison and black bean appetizers, a tasty pumpkin soup, and a buffalo sirloin entree made it even better. However, the high points were, undoubtedly, the performances by native singers and dancers. Especially excellent was the hoop dancer, who’s performance doesn’t replicate so well in fifteen seconds of tiny, silent Quicktime, but is presented here (sideways) for your enjoyment all the same. Over the course of the dance, the performer constructs shapes out of hoops, from tiny planets to diamonds to the bird wings shown in the clip. All of this is done without interrupting the dance itself, so that hoops are constantly being slung, unslung, carefully handled and organized, slipped over legs, spun, hung about the neck, and interlocked. It’s really something.

Damn, but that was some good buffalo.

Noise: Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”


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