National Museum of the American Indian in DC

Located here at the nation’s capital is the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), which is a dedication to the Native American culture. The NMAI is situated in the National Mall, near our Washington DC bed and breakfast between Fourth Street & Independence Ave. The museum comprises of a variety of educational exhibits, collections, film and video screenings, and activity center. The unique curvilinear form of the building is designed to evoke a wind-sculpted rock formation. The surrounding area of museum is also a distinctive and important part of NMAI with the Wetlands, Hardwood Forest, Traditional Croplands, Meadow, and more that embody and represent Native land.

A substantial part of NMAI is its informative exhibitions that give you a glimpse into the culture and lifestyle of Native Americans throughout history. Currently the exhibits on display include, E Mau Ke Ea: A Sovereign Hawaiian Nation, The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and the American Indian Nations, Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World, and Return to Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake. Their exhibits are constantly changing, so be sure to check to see which ones are coming up.

NMAI is home to one of the most inclusive and extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world. It stores approximately 266,000 catalog records representing over 12,000 years of history and more than 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americas that range from ancient Paleo-Indian points to contemporary fine arts. The items in the collection include works with historical and religious significance as well as ones that are everyday items. Additionally, they have a Photographic Archive with images dating back to the 1860s through present day. The wide variety of archived photographs that reveal the lives and history of Native Americans.

NMAI is open everyday from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, and admission is free. For a look at one of the events at NMAI, check out the video below.

Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House

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