Honoring and Accurately Representing Indigenous Culture
Indigenous people have become the foundation for diversity as well as hundreds of unique and powerful cultures around the world. Most assume that the culture and legacy of indigenous people have gone overlooked and modern representation is inaccurate. In this new, modern age, many believe that there is too little representation for select peoples. While representation is ever-expanding, these monuments show us that this is not true. With the help of these monuments, indigenous legacy has been accurately represented and been given the notable significance of their culture. Monuments like these are a way to distribute accurate information to uninformed people who wish and need to learn about cultures other than their own. Over the centuries, colonization and migration have diminished the significance of these cultures, but redemption has been made not only through laws and statutes, but through art and through monuments that exist to educate an uneducated people. Government funding, community efforts, and commissioning alike give way to these projects, where, there are seemingly never enough to come by. However, for those monuments that to exist, there is a great honor and unification for communities that were once silenced. These monuments will never be able to rewrite history, but they are certainly here to help redeem some of what has been lost.
Three cultures are highlighted in this particular exhibit. This does not account for all indigenous people but does give some insight into the span of representation that delivers accurate information. Along with these three exist a plethora of other monuments that provide an accurate depiction of their respective indigenous cultures. The creation of monuments and dedications are ever-expanding, and these projects certainly should never be looked over. There is a lot of work to be done in order to redeem the representation of these cultures- through not only monuments but also through media and so much more; although, these three monuments are excellent examples of the accuracy and honor that pieces and places like these can truly deliver
The Mantle was dedicated to the Native Americans of Virginia. Its shape is symbolic of Native American dances as well as a nautilus shell. Planted around the monument are native flora, connecting this piece to the natural world, just as Native Americans connect themselves. Acting as both a work of art with reliefs of significant items in Native culture, this monument also includes an infinity pool and meditation area. The art of this sculpture and its visual aesthetics all contribute to Native culture, as not one part of it is irrelevant. It is quite frankly made with Native American culture at its core, subtly educating individuals with a less straightforward, artistic approach. This monument in particular works as an accurate depiction and successful dedication due to the elements it contains of the natural world: Native American culture surrounds itself with nature at its core, as they lived off of the land, were one with it, and so on. This monument is, while being man-made, also one with the land. Hundreds of years later, many native plants have since been shrouded by colonization and invasive species alike. In this monument, visitors can acquaint themselves with a wonderful insight into the native flora, as it once truly was the native flora that lived alongside the native people.
The Italian Cultural Garden is representative of "the finer things" of Italian culture, as well as acting as "a symbol of the contribution of Italian culture to American democracy". Within this monument lie beautiful statues of famous Italians, a fountain that resembles the Villa Medici in Rome, an amphitheater, and other architectural creations that can also be found throughout Italy. This massive garden acts as a sole dedication to the fine culture of Italy, memorializing famous individuals in the form of sculpture as Italian culture has done for centuries. Italy is home to several cultural gardens that were made in honor of indigenous leaders and royal families. Italy's architecture and art serve as a profound part of their culture, and the Italian Cultural Garden is exemplary in this regard. This garden allows for the visitation of Italian culture without traveling across the world- as it is set in America where many uneducated people might be. Of course, it is no exact replacement for the experience, but does allow for an accurate one. Italians, who were one of the several groups to migrate to America, had a great impact on culture in both artistic and overall holistic regards.
The Museum of Indigenous People is exactly as it sounds. This museum focuses on the indigeneity of Brazil. Made specifically to educate uninformed people and to correct any misunderstanding, this museum signifies the challenges of Brazilian people as well as visually bringing their cultures together. The building itself is reminiscent of the Yanomami tribe of Brazil, and inside of it are thousands of historical pieces that contribute to Brazilian tribe culture and history. Among the artifacts and items are educational videos, photos, jewelry and clothing, and more. South America, Brazil included, was much like North America in the regard that it was completely taken over by colonization. Consequently, the Native Americans who lived there were terribly mistreated, and their culture was left to be erased. However, there was some redemption and not all was lost for these indigenous people. With the help of modern-day mindsets, these tribes and native groups are allowed to thrive and have their own monuments and dedications. This museum is exemplar due to its entirety being inspired by the native tribes of Brazil, from its architecture to its contents inside. Every piece of dedication is a piece of history, there to educate and give insight into the culture of tribes that live(d) there. It is a massive bout of validation for these people that was not there before.