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The Land Has MemoryIndigenous Knowledge, Native Landscapes, and the National Museum of the American Indian$
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Duane Blue Spruce and Tanya Thrasher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832646

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889787_blue_spruce

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Cardinal Direction Markers

Cardinal Direction Markers

Bringing the Four Directions to NMAI

(p.33) Cardinal Direction Markers
The Land Has Memory

James Pepper Henry

Kristine Brumley

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter looks at the cardinal directions: north, east, south, and west. These are known as the Four Directions to many indigenous people throughout the Americas. They are represented in ceremony, art, clothing, and agriculture. These Four Directions are imbued with metaphor and metaphysical powers that are related to our existence as human beings. A lot of Native peoples associate colors, seasons, and animals with these Four Directions and this forms what is called the Medicine Wheel. The confluence of the Four Directions is the center point, which is balance. The museum's planners used this concept when designing the museum's layout and shape.

Keywords:   cardinal directions, Four Directions, metaphor, Medicine Wheel, balance, center point, museum

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