Cherokee and Plains Indians Exhibits On Display

The Museum  is focusing on American Indian culture this spring with a pair of featured exhibits and associated programs. Understanding Our Past, Shaping Our Future, an exhibition about Cherokee language and culture, will be on exhibit through May 29, 2015, and At Home on the Plains, a mini-exhibit on Plains Indian culture, will be on display through August 29, 2015.

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Understanding Our Past, Shaping Our Future is a traveling exhibition developed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in partnership with Cherokee Central Schools, Southwestern Community College, and Western Carolina University, with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  A community team held monthly discussions with native Cherokee speakers to develop the ideas and images that make up the exhibit. Major themes include Cherokee Homeland, Heritage Sites, Tourism, Family, and Community Celebrations.  Exhibit visitors can access the Cherokee language conversations via smart phone QR codes to hear the sound and cadence of the spoken language while looking at the text in both English and Cherokee. A selection of contemporary Cherokee objects from the MOA’s collection are also on display. The exhibit’s appearance at the Museum of Anthropology is cosponsored by the Wake Forest University Linguistics Program, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Department of Religion.

The MOA is presenting At Home on the Plains as part of a collaboration with Reynolda House Museum of American Art during their exhibition of George Catlin’s American Buffalo. At Home on the Plains showcases the Plains Indians objects in the MOA’s permanent collection. Highlights include beaded moccasins from the Cree and Lakota Sioux tribes as well as two rare Comanche painted hide robes, on display together for the first time. The artifacts in the exhibit present an exclusive look at the material culture of Plains tribes during the Historic Period. As an additional part of this collaboration, the MOA also has a small exhibit of photographs that emphasize the modern day lives of the various tribes painted by George Catlin in the 1830s. For each tribe represented in George Catlin’s American Buffalo, the MOA features a representative image of a Catlin work, a historical photograph, and a modern day photograph, along with a current description of the tribe. The MOA staff will also host Plains Indians craft activities and present hands-on Native American artifacts at the Community Day: Pow Wow Cultural Festival presented by Reynolda House and Guilford Native American Association on Reynolda’s front lawn on Saturday, April 11.

Summer Camp Registration is Open

The MOA is very excited to announce that registration is now open for two 2015 summer programs focusing on the Aboriginal people of Australia.

The Museum will offer three one-week sessions of “An Australian Adventure” Summer Camp: July 6-10, July 13-17, and July 20-24.  Using music, art, stories, games, and other activities campers will learn about the culture and traditions of the Aboriginal people of Australia.  This half-day camp is designed for children ages 6 to 12.  The fee is $125 ($100 for MOA Friends) for a one week session, which includes all supplies and daily refreshments. Each session is limited to 15 children.

For the third year, the Museum will also offer a one-day workshop for teens, ages 12 to 16.  “Dots Galore” will take place on Monday, July 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The Aboriginal people of Australia are famous for dot painting.  Looking at different types of dot painted works, teens will learn how they are created, why dots are used, and what the symbols mean.  Using dot painted artworks in the museum’s collection as inspiration, participants will create their own dot covered art piece.  The fee is $45 ($30 for MOA Friends), which includes all supplies and a snack.  The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

Download the registration forms for both programs here!


MOA Featured on North Carolina Weekend

Last week, the Museum had the privilege of being featured on the UNC-TV program North Carolina Weekend.  You can watch the segment below.

MOA Seeks Academic Director

Wake Forest University’s Department of Anthropology invites applications for a permanent, full-time, faculty position of Academic Director of the Museum of Anthropology, beginning July 1, 2015.

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in anthropology with specialization complementing that of existing faculty. Creativity and experience in museum anthropology including exhibit curation, curriculum development, and community outreach is expected. The holder of this position will teach three classes per academic year including an introductory class in museum anthropology, specialized courses related to museum studies, and classes in applicable fields of anthropological expertise.  The candidate will shape and direct the future academic mission of the Museum, including maintaining its collections, engaging students, and developing its exhibits. Experience in seeking external funding for outreach and research is desired.  We are especially interested in the new Academic Director developing dynamic programming making optimal use of our own ethnographic and archaeological collections.
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Celebrate Day of the Dead with the MOA

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The Museum of Anthropology has celebrated Day of the Dead with exhibits, lectures, and other programs for nearly 20 years.  This year, Life After Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico will be on exhibit from September 16 through December 12.  The Museum will also introduce new local collaborators for Day of the Dead programming.

The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is celebrated in Mexico over several days coinciding with the Catholic observances of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days (November 1 and 2).  The observance has roots in both ancient pre-Hispanic celebrations and medieval Spanish Catholic practices, and has evolved to feature a blend of elements from both traditions.  The celebration is considered a festive time when families remember their dead and honor the continuity of life.

Last year, the Museum introduced new text and a new title for the annual bilingual exhibit.  Life After Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico now includes more information about the celebration’s history, skeleton-themed folk art, and regional variations in observance.  As always, the centerpiece of the exhibit is a traditional Mexican ofrenda, an altar with food and beverage offerings, flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and photos of deceased family members.  The exhibit also includes a children’s ofrenda with toys and  snacks; a wide selection of folk art including ceramics, wooden toys, and cut paper; and a photo essay illustrating the celebration in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.  The Museum welcomes patrons to contribute to the exhibit by placing photos of deceased family and friends on the altar.

The Museum’s programs center around a new collaboration with the Hispanic League and Sawtooth School.  First, the Museum staff will be at the Sawtooth School on Friday, October 24, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for the Adult/Child Sugar Skulls class.  The Museum will provide background information about the Day of the Dead celebration, as well as objects and photographs to inspire the participants.  Each adult/child pair will get to decorate one sugar skull.  Visit for information and to register.  The next event is the Day of the Dead Excursion on Saturday, October 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The program will start in the morning at the MOA with an educational presentation and in-depth guided tour of the Life After Death exhibit.  After an authentic Mexican lunch at the Museum, participants will move to the Sawtooth School for a workshop where veteran mask maker Martina Moore will guide them through each step of the creative process to produce a Day of the Dead inspired mask.  Participants will have the option of displaying their masks in the MOA’s exhibition through early December.  The excursion is open to ages 14 and over.  Visit for information and to register.  We hope to see you this fall!


Join MOA for The Amazing Summer ESCAPE Challenge

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The Amazing Summer ESCAPE Challenge is an innovative family engagement initiative that reduces summer leaning loss by encouraging students and families to participate in summer learning activities throughout our community, all summer long.  As a member of the Association of Visitor Attractions of Forsyth County (AVA), the MOA is proud to partner with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and other community partners to provide thousands of local families with a free Amazing Summer ESCAPE Challenge Kit and Passport.

From June through August 2014 students and families can engage in the numerous FREE and low-cost programs, including nature walks, scavenger hunts, puppet shows and more.  A complete list of partner institutions and available programs can be found online at  When students participate in programs, they will add stamps to their passports.  The MOA will reward student who complete the gallery scavenger hunt with a passport stamp.  As students collect more stamps, they become eligible for prize drawings to be held at the Finale and Awards Celebration in August.

Please join us at The Amazing Summer ESCAPE Challenge Kick-Off event at Hanes Mall on Saturday June 21, 2014 from 10am – 2pm.  At the event, students and their families begin the summer learning adventures and find out what it takes to be entered into the prize drawings.  Help us fight summer learning loss and support affordable family fun in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

For more information regarding The Amazing Summer ESCAPE Challenge, please contact Sharon Frazier, District & Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator, at or (336) 748-4000 Ext. 34225.

 The AVA is a collaborative marketing organization made up of the following members: Downtown Arts District Association, Historic Bethabara Park, Historic Bethania, Korner’s Folly, Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, New Winston Museum, Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, SciWorks, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Tanglewood Park, and Triad ECO Adventures.