Plan to come early or stay late after Exotics of the Rainforest to see the Wonders on Wheels Mobile Exhibit. Aimed at students aged 4–14, the Wonders on Wheels mobile museum’s latest exhibit presents a unique look at the twenty-four Native American tribal communities of New Mexico, told through the eyes of Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo children.
The Wonders on Wheels bus will be in the library parking lot. 9:00-1:00
Administered by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), the museum continues its outreach to the many rich and diverse communities that make up the Land of Enchantment. This exhibit was guest curated by Dr. Jessie Ryker-Crawford (Ojibway) and Dr. Shelley Valdez (Laguna Pueblo), president of Native Pathways, a non-profit educational company.
The importance of traditional foods, plants, and animals, of dance and music, of the arts, and of family and elders are presented through exhibits and hands-on activities. Designed for visitors ages 4–14, the exhibits show kids the natural-dyed yarns that go into making beautiful Navajo rugs and let them feel the sheep wool while learning about weaving. Visitors will learn about the traditional clothing of New Mexico’s tribal people through a doll exhibit that features some of our state’s most talented tribal doll makers. Bows and arrows, atlatls, drums, and rattles are discussed and are there to be handled. Pottery activities, an interactive tribal map of New Mexico, and videos on corn, drum making, and honoring traditional Native American ways of living are featured within this dynamic exhibit.
The MIAC Native American Tribes of New Mexico exhibit was produced by a cohort of four Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo educators selected from each of the three land-based tribal groups: Melissa Henry (Navajo), Sherwin Sando (Jemez Pueblo), Mia Toya (Jemez Pueblo), and Ina Montoya (Jicarilla Apache). Program partner Dr. Carnell Chosa (Jemez Pueblo) from the Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School provided pre-program support. These educators include elementary and middle-school teachers, art teachers, and language teachers. They have built their lesson plans around their specific tribal groups, and their curriculum is delivered by trained educators who engage students and the audience through storytelling, lecture, and guided activities.
The WoW traveling exhibit is installed within a specially retrofitted 38-foot RV featuring 300 square feet of exhibit and interactive spaces all delivered through curriculum-based programming targeted toward kindergarten–8th grade students. This exhibit will travel to public and tribal schools, libraries, and community-based institutions throughout New Mexico, offering full family programming at each stop. In this way, MIAC and DCA are providing critical museum-based educational experiences to students who live too far away from, or don’t otherwise have access to DCA museums and historic sites.