This special issue of Expedition Magazine is designed to accompany the new exhibition “Living in Balance: The Universe of the Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Apache” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. The idea driving the exhibition and all of the accompanying programming is a presentation of these peoples from their own perspective, rather than within a traditional scholarly interpretative framework. In order to effect this approach, consultants from each of these four peoples have been my closest advisors, working with me to shape the focus and content of the exhibition.
In addition, we have developed other programs to augment these perspectives. We have, for example, organized a photograph exchange between elementary school children from several schools on the Reservations and schools in the Philadelphia area in order to promote intercultural understanding. These photographs are exhibited in a special kiosk in the Kress Entrance area. On May 20 our four consultants will share their perspectives directly with the public in a Saturday morning symposium. There will be ample time for your questions. I hope you will participate in this lively exchange.
Likewise, I wanted to present Expedition’s readers directly with the Native American perspective. Thus, I invited every member of these four peoples via their local radio and newspapers, as well as through appeals to the schools, to contribute written and visual statements about themselves and their lives, whether it be in verse, picture, or essay form. We received a wonderful response; herein are some of their poignant, heartfelt messages.
Dorothy K Washburn