The event coincides with Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies, an exhibition currently on view at the Laboratory of Anthropology, and celebrates the importance of birds across the Southwest.
The event schedule will be family friendly and includes live demonstrations and exhibit tours with the curator, as well as a visit with live raptors from Hawks Aloft.
Attendees will have the opportunity to see the exhibit, which centers on Native relationships with birds, as well as how archaeology is used to garner knowledge about the use and importance of birds. Audubon Day and the exhibition work in tandem to illustrate the prominence of birds within the environment, fulfilling roles within our ecosystems and cultures.
Diana Sherman, Collections Manager for the Archeological Research Collections at the Center for New Mexico Archaeology, a division of MIAC, curated the exhibit and discusses the celebration. “Birds appear in nearly all facets of Native American culture, both in the past and today. The spiritual power of birds extends to every culture, everywhere.”
The celebration includes presentation of live birds of prey from Hawks Aloft, a bird education and raptor rehabilitation program that provides the public an opportunity to meet these birds close up and learn about their physiological, ecological, and social characteristics.
Two special guests will be Marlon Magdalena of Jemez Pueblo and Mary Weahkee of Santa Clara Pueblo/Comanche. Marlon will be at the event to discuss the importance of birds in his culture and how he makes bird bone flutes and whistles, as well as wooden flutes, designed from traditional flutes he has studied. Mary, who works for the Office of Archaeological Studies in Santa Fe, will demonstrate how she makes turkey feather blankets in the traditional method practiced in the Southwest for millennia.
Lastly, hourly tours of the birds exhibit will also be conducted by Diana Sherman. “Birds are essential beings for the earth’s success,” Sherman says. “We have to protect the earth for their sake and in turn, we will be protecting it for ourselves. Our fates are essentially intertwined; we will either fly or falter together!”
The Museum of Arts and Culture is located on Museum Hill, 708 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM. The exhibition, Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies, may be viewed from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Laboratory of Anthropology building, just adjacent to the Museum. The exhibit closes on June 5.