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Current Exhibits
 
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Tsate Kongia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin

Exhibit Dates: permanent exhibit

The exhibit gives an in-depth look into the personal and professional life of Bosin, one of the founders of the Indian Center and the man behind Wichita's iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture. Tsate Kongia was Bosin's Kiowa name. It means "Blackbear" and belonged to his great-grandfather, a Kiowa chief. The exhibit includes paintings, photographs, vintage film footage, live audio tapes made by Bosin and interviews with people who were close to him. Bosin was an internationally recognized Comanche-Kiowa sculptor and acrylic/watercolor painter from Oklahoma who adopted Wichita as his home in 1940. Primarily a self-taught artist, Bosin helped enhance a better understanding of his culture by presenting scenes and tales of his beloved Indian heritage beautifully to the world. National Geographic gave Bosin his first national recognition in March 1955 with the publication of his painting "Prairie Fire".​​​​

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Elements: Earth

Opening date: August 12, 2017

Earth is the final installment of our Elements exhibit series, featuring the medicine wheel, or circle of life. The medicine wheel encompasses all of the earth and the life within it. We will explore our relationship to the earth and its place in the medicine wheel.

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Indians in Arts

Opening date: July 22, 2017

Many people are aware of traditional American Indian arts. What might be less commonly known, however, is that these art forms are expanding and adapting as our cultures expand and adapt. American Indians create art that honors their heritage and traditions, but combine that with their lived experiences as modern indigenous people. The art found in this exhibit takes a tiny fragment of some of the recent work being created by individuals and groups that can acquaint the public with the contemporary cultural traditions of talented and dedicated artists.

 
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Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation's Armed Forces

Opening date: May 20, 2017

Our latest traveling exhibition form the National Museum of the American Indian is a 16-panel exhibiton that tells the remarkable history of the brave American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the United States military dating back to the Revolutionary War. This exhibit will be open until September 16, 2017 and military and their families are welcome to visit our entire museum during this time as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

Patriot Nations: Native Americans in our Nation’s Armed Forces is produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.​​​​

Photo caption: The Native American Women Warriors lead the grand entry during a powwow in Pueblo, Colorado, June 14, 2014. From left: Sergeant First Class Mitchelene BigMan (Apsáalooke [Crow]/Hidatsa), Sergeant Lisa Marshall (Cheyenne River Sioux), Specialist Krissy Quinones (Apsáalooke [Crow]), and Captain Calley Cloud (Apsáalooke [Crow]), with Tia Cyrus (Apsáalooke [Crow]) behind them. Photo by Nicole Tung
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Zuni Fetishes and Carvings

Opening date: April 8, 2017

Fetishes are objects that are filled with the spirits of powerful beings. Zuni people carve stone animals to heal and help the person who has it. Learn about Zuni fetishes and the carvings that are made to resemble them.​​​​

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Pottery: Formed and Fired

Opening date: April 8, 2017

Pueblo pottery is as varied as the pueblos in which it is created. The Indian Center has 150 pieces from 17 pueblos that showcase the artistry that goes into the making of this art.​​

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The Ken Enquist Collection

Opening date: April 8, 2017

Although the photographic portrayal of American Indians is not unique, this exhibit differs from other representations in several respects. Historic portraits of Indians often presented them in the artificial environment of the studio, frequently having to wear the regalia of a tribe to which they did not belong. Unlike the posed Indians in historic portraits, the individuals portrayed in the current exhibit chose what they would wear, where they would pose, and they tell their story through the accompanying narratives, in which they express what it is like to be an Indian in Kansas today.​

The underlying purpose of this exhibit is to sweep away the misconceptions, biases, and ignorance that sometimes obscure our understanding of one another. The picturing of Indian people as real individuals, with unique histories, experiences, feelings, and traditions is the best way to dispel some of these long held and unquestioned judgements. In essence, this exhibit contains the self-portraits of American Indians who speak their own story at a moment in time. The images and words seen here should be considered the representations of living people who are forever changing.​​​​

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Elements: Water

Opening date: April 8, 2017

Water is the third installment starting the second year of our Elements exhibit series, featuring the medicine wheel, or circle of life. The medicine wheel encompasses all of the earth and the life within it. We will explore our relationship to water and its place in the medicine wheel.​​​​​​

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Cherokee Baskets: Redfern & Bushyhead

Opening date: October 8, 2016

Margaret Redfern Pitzer was a master artist in basket weaving and she taught that skill to Marilyn Bushyhead Kindsvatter. Their baskets showcase Cherokee artistry at its finest, while also focusing on the lives and talents of two women helping to keep heritage craft alive.​​​​​​​

 
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Native Christmas

Opening date: Annual exhibit opening late November - early December

The Indian Center is ready for Christmas! Come see our "Native Christmas" exhibit and celebrate the season with us. The exhibit features our American Indian Christmas tree which is decorated with handmade ornaments and four separate nativity sets in different American Indian art styles.​​