New Indian Center exhibit showcases vintage toys
The Mid-America All-Indian Center is celebrating the opening of its newest exhibit “From Native Hands: A Journey Through Childhood” with special $1 admission from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 19. The exhibit takes visitors back before action figures and video games to a time when toys were stitched by hand and created to tell cultural stories. The show will be open through Jan. 4, 2014. The Indian Center is located at 650 N. Seneca.
“All of the pieces on display are from the Indian Center’s collection. We’re excited for the public to see such a large range of toys from throughout the United States and Mexico,” said Museum Director Deborah Roseke. “The toys are full of symbolism and reflect the way American Indians worked, dressed and lived.”
The oldest toys in the exhibit are 1880s birch bark canoes; the most contemporary are 1960s handmade cloth dolls. There are examples of Alaskan dolls, cornhusk dolls, Eskimo yo-yos, hand drums, kayaks, handmade Christmas ornaments and nativities. The materials the toys are made from range from seal, wolf, deer and bison skin to pottery and fabric.
“From Native Hands” is one of several exhibits at the Museum. On permanent display is “Tsate Knogia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin” which has recently been expanded to include a number of originals borrowed from private collections, including KWCH Channel 12 and Sedgwick County. The exhibit tells the personal and professional story of Blackbear Bosin, the creator of the Keeper of the Plains statue and one of the Indian Center’s founders.
The Indian Center Museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Regular admission is $7 for adults and $3 for youth ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free of charge. For more information, go to TheIndianCenter.org or call 316-350-3340