What’s old is new: How to do your Native do
In February 2014, an exhibit called Native American Portraits: Points of Inquiry, featuring dozens of portraits of Native peoples from all over the United States, opened at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. The photos, taken by a wide variety of photographers, date from the mid-1800s; there is also a group of contemporary images from Native photographers. The show was curated by Diane Bird, the museum’s archivist. Among the feedback she has received about the exhibit are numerous questions about the hairstyles worn by the people in the pictures. Visitors to the museum have wanted to know if the hairstyles are still popular and if they have ceremonial significance. Museum employees have talked about who in their family wore, or knew how to create, certain styles — some of which, such as the “Hopi maiden butterfly whorl,” take training and a deft hand. In response, MIAC is hosting Native American Hairstyles: Historic and Contemporary, on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s an oldfashioned hair show, with demonstrations of how to make the butterfly whorl, the Navajo woman’s bun, the Navajo man’s bun, the Pueblo woman’s bun, and other Native styles of braids, bangs, and hair accessories. Visitors’ questions are welcome throughout. After the demonstrations, the models will parade all the styles during a presentation in the museum’s theater. Stylists and models are from the Zia, Santa Clara, and Jemez pueblos as well as the Hopi, Navajo, and Pawnee nations. Though the hairstyles are traditional and date back centuries, most of them are still in use — some for everyday wear and some for ceremonies and dances. Entrance is by museum admission. MIAC is on Museum Hill at 710 Camino Lejo; call 505-476-1250.
Patricio Calabasa, Santo Domingo Pueblo, circa 1927, photo T. Harmon Parkhurst; courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), Negative No. 46763