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Past Exhibits
  • May 20, 2017
    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

  • Apr 8, 2017
    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.​​​​​​


  • Late Nov - early Dec
    Native Christmas

    Exhibit Dates: 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.


  • Oct 8, 2016
    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.​​​​​​​

  • Jul 23, 2016
    Indians in Sports

    Beginning exhibit date: July 23, 2016

    This exhibit is a look at American Indians who have contributed to the world of sports. Take a journey from traditional sports played and invented by American Indians to learning about the effect boarding schools had on Indian athletics, bringing us to today and athletes who are up and coming in different fields of sports.

  • Jun 24, 2016
    Elements: Fire

    Beginning exhibit date: June 24, 2016

    It is the second of a four-part series featuring all four elements of the medicine wheel, or circle of life, changing biannually. The medicine wheel encompasses all of the earth and the life within it. We will explore the benefits fire provides for our culture and also the dangers it poses.​​​​​​​


  • Apr 23, 2016
    Kachina: We Are the Spirit

    Beginning exhibit date: April 23, 2016

    Kachina (or Katsina) dolls​​ are physical representations of the kachina spirits, messengers between the human and spirit world. These dolls were originally made by Hopi people to instruct young people about spiritual beings, though now they are made by many southwest tribes for the tourist industry. Examples from our collection will illustrate the types of kachina dolls and highlight their purpose and significance to the Hopi and other people.


  • Feb 20, 2016
    Elements: Air

    Beginning exhibit date: February 20, 2016

    Elements is a two-year exhibit series featuring all four elements of the medicine wheel, or circle of life, changing biannually. Air is the first element featured and symbolizes new life.​​​​​​​​

  • Jan 15, 2016
    Turquoise

    Beginning exhibit date: January​​ 15, 2016

    Turquoise is a stone ever-present in the southwest. Its use in jewelry stretches back to ancient cultures and continues to attract people of all backgrounds. Turquoise is not only beautiful, but also has cultural significance to the American Indians who adorn themselves in the blue-green gem. This exhibit will also show examples of turquoise and silver jewelry, along with turquoise used in other forms, such as animal fetishes.​​

  • Oct 10, 2015
    Alaska: People of the Ice and Snow

    Beginning exhibit date: October 10, 2015

    There are 566 federally recognized tribes. Almost half of those are Alaksa Natives. With over 200 communities, there are as many different art styles. From ivory carvings to intricate dolls, Alaska Native art is as varied and unique as the people who create it. Discover the practical uses for artwork in northern cultures. Explore the techniques that characterize totems, paddles, and masks. Come learn about the people of the ice and snow!​​


  • Jun 6, 2015
    Gentle Harvest: Every Sheep Gets a Haircut

    Exhibit Dates: June 6, 2015 - April 9, 2016​

    "Gentle Harvest: Every Sheep Gets a Haircut" gives a playful look at the history of weaving and its traditions in American Indian culture told from the perspective of a sheep. This exhibit was designed to appeal especially to children.

    There are two themed sections: "Getting to the Bottom of the Basket" and "The Flock Talks". A dozen Navajo rugs and baskets from more than 10 different tribes will be featured as well as a faux sheep covered in real wool and a traditional vertical loom. Many items from the Indian Center's collection as well as hands-on materials illustrate how American Indians gently harvest plants and wool - without harming the environment or animal - to create woven goods.​​​​


  • Oct 2014
    The Art of Creating Sacred

    Exhibit Dates: October 2014 - October 2015

    "The Art of Creating Sacred" exhibit features ceremonial pipes and pipe bags made between 1870-1900 that are part of the Indian Center's permanent artifact collection. The display focuses on the technique of making pipes and pipe bags, and provides a detailed explanation as to why pipes are held sacred within the American Indian community.​​


  • May 10, 2014
    Indians in Aviation

    Beginning exhibit date: May 10, 2014

    Outside of Code Talkers, American Indians' contributions to World War II from the home front have largely been overlooked by history. The Mid-America All-Indian Center's "Indians in Aviation" exhibit fills in those historical gaps. It tells the stories of many American Indians who moved to Wichita during the war years to work behind the scenes making airplanes at Boeing Wichita, Cessna Aircraft Co., and Beech Aircraft.

    The Indian Center commissioned a full-length documentary specifically for this exhibit that allows viewers to connect with more than two dozen veterans, family members and historians as they recount their roles in the war effort and the roots Indian families laid down in Wichita.​​


  • Jan 2014
    Carry Our Prayers to Heaven​

    Exhibit Dates: January 2014 - January 2015

    The exhibit features bird feathers and featured objects from the mid-1800s to 1900s that continue to be held sacred by indigenous cultures around the world. All pieces are part of the Indian Center's permanent collection.

    Display of bird feathers (eagle, hawk, turkey, goose, pheasant) along with headdresses and fans made with feathers. The Museum worked with Sedgwick County Zoo Curator of Birds Scott Newland to identify the origins of many of the well-preserved feathers in its collection. It was discovered that some were from exotic birds such as blue and gold macaws. To add an interactive component to the exhibit, visitors will be encouraged to learn more about the birds in their natural environment at such places as the Sedgwick County Zoo.

    • Feather Learning Station where visitors can view microscopic images of feathers, learn the science of feathers and flight and discover the importance of birds in nature. The station was created with assistance from the Sedgwick County Zoo and professors in the Ask a Biologist program, which was started by the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences.
    • Golden Eagle photographs taken by nature photographer Bob Gress.
    • Film interview with local Cherokee Elder Bob Marley that gives the history of the Eagle feather giveaway program he established more than 20 years ago to reward American Indian youth for their accomplishments.​​