winter 2008 Edition
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Behind the Scenes: the art of ceremony

About 900 members of Oregon tribes and the Willamette and Salem communities gathered on campus in late September to witness a historic event: a procession involving all nine of the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes in honor of an exhibition of their ceremonial regalia.

After a welcoming ceremony in Jackson Plaza, Eric Sheoships and Les Minthorn of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (top right) led the tribes in a procession to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. There they celebrated the opening of The Art of Ceremony: Regalia of Native Oregon, which features items the tribes use in private ceremonies and rituals. Many tribal members donned their personal regalia for the event, including Luella Spino Azule and her granddaughter Alyssa Azule of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (top left), and Charles Nathan of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, who attended Willamette in the 1950s (bottom right).

After the procession, about 450 people gathered in Goudy Commons for a traditional Native American feast. The next day, visitors had the opportunity to view multiple regalia-makers at work in the museum.

The exhibition is on display at the Hallie Ford Museum through Sunday, Jan. 18. It then travels to the Tam├ístslikt Cultural Institute on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Ore., Feb. 20–May 28, and on to the Museum at Warm Springs in central Oregon, June 26–Sept. 12.