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Cheyenne and Arapaho artists host two-day remembrance

The history and culture of two Native American tribes, the Cheyenne and Arapho, came to Washington State University Vancouver in mid-February through workshops, films and art.

Brent Learned and George Curtis Levi, who are descendants of the Cheyenne-Arapaho, organized the two-day exhibit. Levi and Learned wanted to honor and recognize their ancestors with these paintings that demonstrate the strength of their leaders.

The paintings depict the events surrounding the Sand Creek Massacre of Nov. 29, 1864, when a group called the Colorado Volunteers killed approximately 400 Native American Their leader, Col. John Covington, ordered his troops to “kill and scalp all, big and little.” A large percentage of those killed were women, children and the elderly.

The panel also discussed the culture and traditions of these tribes, now based in Oklahoma, and how the casual use of Native American-styled feathers and beads can be disrespectful to their traditions. They shared the significance of various items used in religious ceremonies and how each color, symbol or pattern has meaning rather than being purely ornamental.

Learned and Levi also showed a screening of a PBS documentary on the Sand Creek massacre at The Clark County Historical Museum along with paintings.

The Clark County Historical Museum is the first venue on the West Coast to host the “One November Morning” exhibition. It has also been shown in galleries at the Denver Art Museum, Denver University and Northwestern University.

For more information on future events related to “One November Morning,” visit the Clark County Historical Museum’s website www.cchmuseum.org

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