Every object—old or new, simple or elaborate—evokes an artist, a purpose, and a story. The objects on display in this exhibition tell of generations of Dakota and Ojibwe people who have made their home in this place now called Minnesota. They tell of traditions, old and new. They tell of change and persistence. They tell of moving and staying.
Jingle dresses started to appear in Ojibwe communities in the early 1900s. Today, women wear jingle dresses at powwows all across North America. And the dress and the dance have changed as dancers blend tradition with new materials and influences.
Ojibwe people have made and used birch bark canoes for centuries. Designed to move heavy loads over long distances, through rapids and shallows, they made possible a trade network that spanned the eastern two-thirds of the United States.
For centuries, Native people relied on migratory bison herds. A single bison could provide 400 pounds of meat, as well as hide and bones that could be made into almost anything a person needed.