Cover of NMAI Winter 2017

VOL. 18 NO. 4Winter 2017

On the cover: This bench from Rio Uaupes at the headwaters of the Amazon was collected in the early 1920s by Dr. Herbert S. Dickey (1876–1948), a full-time explorer and ethnologist funded by George Gustav Heye and the Museum of the American Indian (predecessor to the NMAI). Earlier in his medical career, Dickey reported on the corporate atrocities of the Putumayo rubber boom, putting his life in greater danger than he ever felt from unknown territories or tribes. See page 30 for his hair-raising story. Adverse corporate impact on the Indigenous peoples of Amazonia, and elsewhere, is still not a thing of the past.

In This Issue

Photo by Dominic Chan, Courtesy of imagineNATIVE

Storytelling on Film

The burgeoning Indigenous film industry has grown hand in hand with Native film and video festivals, giving the First Nations new ways and forums for telling their stories.
Enslaved Natives and Africans

Taíno Survival

After largely dropping out of the written record, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean have returned with a vengeance. From the remote mountains of eastern Cuba to the boroughs of New York, a vibrant Taíno movement is proclaiming that they are still here. Ranald Woodaman discusses an upcoming exhibit on...
Community gathering for a tobacco ceremony honoring a baptism

Indigenous Cuba

The real Cuba traditionally starts in the East, in Oriente province, where Indigeneity is now the hallmark. Native families have hung on in isolated villages, preserving traditional customs and traditional agriculture. The return to old food sources helped pull the island through recent times of difficulty.
Dr. and Mrs. Dickey take tea with a Tukanoan chief

Herbert Dickey in the Devil’s Paradise

During the rubber boom before World War I, the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company ruled supreme along the Putumayo River between Peru and Colombia, brutally extorting labor from the Native population. Its atrocities became a worldwide scandal.
Fifth graders from Fredericksburg Academy in Virginia

Inside NMAI

The exhibit might be open, but there is still a lot to do, especially on a major project 10 years in the making. Dr. Ramon Matos, co-curator of The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, continues to follow up with field research and discussions to bring the exhibit to the Andean homeland.

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