White Mountain Apache Tribe
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Cheyenne River Lakota Nation
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Southern Cherokee Nation
Northern Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Eastern Band
Oneida Indian Nation
Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
Seneca Nation of Indians
Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Southern Ute Indian Tribe
The Pueblo of Santa Ana
The Pueblo of Zuni
The Pueblo of Sandia
Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
The Aleut Corporation
Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association, Inc.
Alaska Federation of Nations
Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook/Abenaki People
Northern Cheyenne Net
Athabascan Nation/Chickaloon Village
Crow Tribal Council
Haudenosaunee (Iriquois Nation)
Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Gila River Indian Community (Pima)
United Tribe of Shawnee Indians
This site does not pretend to be ethnograpical in focus—it looks more to represent the Astor Collection and the collection's history. To counter that lack and the century-old view of Native Americans originally presented by the Astor, links have been provided at left for the viewer to explore more about native cultures on more equal terms.
The passage of time tends to expose errors of perception, though those exposures may be mere chimera of perception themselves. The ethnography behind the Hall of the American Indian presents obvious flaws: the constriction and generalization caused by the procrustean attempt to put many tribes into a few language groups, a number of misclassifications, values-based judgements of the different groups, and an orientalist or essentialist approach still informed by the savage Indian/noble redman dichotomy and vanishing Indian myth.
That being said, the organization of the Hall of the American Indian does represent an important stutter step forward in the history of American anthropology, a field that was undergoing a radical shift at the time due in part to Franz Boas and the idea of historic particularism that he diffused to an influential new generation of anthropologists. Prior to Boas cultural evolutionism had reigned, a progressivist theory that posited a universal idea of culture which only certain societies (i.e., western) had fully achieved. Boas countered this by claiming that every culture is valid and individually based on its specific historical circumstances. The best way to study and define cultures, Boas felt, was through empirical evidence.
Thus the design of the Indian Grill Room in which one can "visit" a culture, room by room, and view the objects and photographic representations of everyday life, all of which "explain" the culture. The Native Cultures of the Americas section of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History is still set up in this same manner. While better than a universalist approach, the Boasian method creates static snapshots of societies that are often denied commentary on their own representation. Happily, the Smithsonian is countering its own deficiency with the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian.