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J

OHN

A

ND

B

ETTY

M

ITCHELL

B

UILD

A

C

HICAGOLAND

A

MERICAN

I

NDIAN

M

USEUM

Trading Post Times

Page 2

The Mitchell Museum of the

American Indian was founded

in 1977 with John and Betty

Mitchell's gift to Kendall Col-

lege of their Native American

collection.

Based on almost 60 years of

collecting, primarily among the

Southwest, Plains and Great

Lakes Indians, the Mitchell

Collection provided a nucleus

of approximately 3,000 individ-

ual objects.

Over the past 20 years numer-

ous gifts and purchases have

increased the Museum's collec-

tion to more than three times

the original size.

Permanent exhibits housed in

the museum are dedicated to

the Native cultures of the

Woodlands, Plains, Southwest,

Northwest Coast and Arctic

regions of North America.

Each gallery contains a

"touching table" where visitors

can handle real examples of

Indian artifacts, as well as feel

the raw materials - including

snakeskin, caribou fur, birch

bark, turquoise and buffalo skin

used by Native Americans.

There are also two changing

galleries that feature special

temporary exhibits.

A library of over 5000 books

and periodicals, as well as video

and audio tapes, can be used by

visitors at the Museum. Mem-

bers of the North Shore Library

system may also request books

through the Inter-Library Loan

program of their local library.

The museum is located at 2600

Central Park Avenue in Evans-

ton, Illinois.

The Mitchell Museum includes

3,000 objects donated by John

and Betty Mitchell.

themselves and their horses

from “the evil eye.” When the

Spanish arrived in the new

world, they brought the same

idea with them to protect their

horses and their soldiers.

The Moors taught metallurgy to

the Spanish who taught the

Navajo. (The Moors also heav-

ily influenced early Southwest

architecture.)

From the early 1800’s the Naja

was popular with the Shawnee,

Delaware, Cheyenne and Co-

manche, as well as with the

Navajo.

For the Navajo, the symbol of

the Naja is purely decorative,

and holds no spiritual or sym-

bolic significance. Yet the age

old symbol is held in very high

regard by the Navajo, even

today.

The famous inverted crescent

pendant on squash-blossom

necklaces is called the

Naja

by

the Navajo.

This form goes way back into

history. It was used in the

Phoenician culture as well as in

ancient Rome and Crete.

In the middle ages the Moors

adopted the symbol as a bridal

ornament that would protect

F

ROM

P

HOENICIANS

T

O

N

AVAJO

: T

HE

N

AJA

River Trading Post

314 N. River Street

Dundee, Illinois 60118

847-426-6901

610 B. Canyon Road

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

505-982-2805

7140 E. 1st Avenue

Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

480-444-0001

www.rivertradingpost.com

Whether you are decorating

your home or are an avid col-

lector of fine American Indian

art, you will find River Trading

Post has a great mix of historic

and contemporary art from

over 50 tribal nations.

Come visit. Enjoy!

F

OUR

G

REAT

C

OLLECTOR

E

XPERIENCES

Dundee

RTP On-Line

Scottsdale

Santa Fe

The Woodlands Gallery at the

Mitchell Museum includes this mid-

20th century Ojibwe canoe.

Beautifully decorated Naja

pendants grace many Navajo

Squash Blossom necklaces.