Saturday, March 17, 2012

Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of Quileute Wolves

Where: Nation Museum of the American Indian

When: through May 9, 2012

Unbeknownst to me, the Twilight series of books (which I have never read) feature a character who is not only a werewolf but also a member of the Quileute tribe.  The tribe seems to have a love/hate relationship with the books, on the one hand, they bring lots of tourists (and tourist dollars) to their area, but on the other hand, they encourage misconceptions about the tribe among those who read the novels.  This exhibit is an attempt to set the record straight.

The tribe does have a strong bond with wolves, so one can see where the Twilight author would have gotten the idea for a Quileute werewolf character.  The tribe creation mythology involves wolves, and there is a society of men within the tribe that is associated with wolves.  They are not, however, werewolves.  On display is some tribal art, both some fine carvings done by adults and remarkably detailed drawings of tribe rituals and ceremonies done by children in the schools set up in the early 1900s.

Verdict: This is a relatively small show, so it's easily managed in a lunch hour.  I would like to have seen more carvings, as the ones on display were quite impressive.

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