March 24, 2007

Dresses on display

Smithsonian exhibit tells Indians' 'Identity'Each dress in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has its own unique story to tell.

In all, 55 dresses from 35 Indian nations will be on display through Jan. 2. After that, the exhibit travels to the museum's George Gustav Heye Center in New York City where it will open in fall 2008.

"One of the reasons why the show is called 'Identity by Design' is the fact that as these different tribal groups develop their different styles, (you're) able to look at these dresses and identify what groups they come from," said Emil Her Many Horses, co-curator of the exhibit and a member of South Dakota's Oglala Lakota Tribe. "For example, if I went to a contemporary powwow today, I would be able to say, 'Oh, that's a Southern lady' by the style of her dress."