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March 7, 2013

Public invited to opening of local museum’s Plains Indians exhibit

Museum of the Americans presents “Beads and Rawhide: Heritage of the Plains Indians,” March 9-Aug. 3. The public is invited to the opening preview this Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Plains Indians from film and books are defined by the advent of the horse in the 17th and 18th centuries, horses that were introduced to the New World by the Spaniards. Plains Indians were primarily nomadic and ranged across the vast tableland of grass stretching from Northern Alberta, Canada, south into Texas. These Indians were dependent upon hunting buffalo, which supplied their food, clothing, shelter and even fuel.

With increasing numbers of white settlers competing for their lands, a short but bloody chapter in American history ensued. The buffalo were slaughtered by the millions, Indians were moved to reservations, and the 20th Century was a time when the governments of Canada and the United States made every effort to “civilize” and integrate them into modern life.

This exhibit presents an overview of the Plains Indians from the period of the horse and buffalo to the present. It is an effort to portray the struggles of these peoples to maintain their language, culture, and craft despite more than a century of cultural suppression.

Museum of the Americas is located at 216 Fort Worth Highway in Weatherford. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. Call (817) 341-8668, or see www.museumoftheamericas.com for more information.

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