“How is it that Indians can be so present and so absent in American life?” asks the online “Americans” landing page. The American Indian population makes up little more than 1 percent of the American population, yet, in so many aspects of popular culture it remains ever-present. Cities, towns, and streets take their names from indigenous tribes. Native Americans are featured in Westerns, cartoons, and fiction. Their imagery and aesthetics are embedded in history. In an exhibition that delves into the intricacies of national identity, visitors are taken through familiar historical events—Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn—shedding light on this small yet inspiring population. —E.C.
National Museum of the American Indian Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, United States Get Directions »