"The wolf is central to the cultural beliefs of the Quileute Native Peoples...those ancestral beginnings figure significantly in the Quileute world view, even today."
In 2008, the Quileute were thrust into the public spotlight with the release of the popular film Twilight that depicts the Quileute as werewolves opposite a coven of vampires with which they have an ancient treaty. The notoriety has created more scrutiny of and interest in this small Native nation residing on a one-square mile reservation in La Push, Washington.
In collaboration with the Quileute people, this exhibition focuses on the ceremonies and art works pertaining to the wolf (and other beliefs), and includes 30 objects, many never before exhibited, on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian, the American Museum of Natural History, the Washington State Historical Society, National Anthropological Archives and the Olympic National Park. With the notoriety brought about when Stephenie Meyer's books (and films) cast them as mysterious, shape-shifting wolves, the Quileute have creatively responded by publicly sharing their songs, dances, stories and visual arts, including the exhibition and programs at the Seattle Art Museum.
— Barbara Brotherton, Curator of Native American Art
Images from Quileute Life 1886-Present
These images offer a glimpse into Quileute life after the era of Indian treaties and decades of policies that forced them to adapt to immense changes. Yet, the elemental values that defined the Quileutes for thousands of years are ever-present here—orientation to their village and traditional homelands, subsistence fishing, cedar carving, canoe-making and nurturing their children. The notoriety brought about when Stephenie Meyer's books (and films) cast them as mysterious, shape-shifting wolves is yet another instance of creative accommodation as shared through public performances and projects like the Seattle Art Museum exhibition.
During the 2010 – 2011 school year SAM's Living Histories: Northwest Native American Art will have a special emphasis on the Behind the Scenes exhibition. Schedule an interactive school tour + art workshop for your students to experience the Quileute exhibition. Your school may be eligible for 50% reduced prices as well as subsidized bus transportation. Click on the School Tour button below to learn more.
Check out all upcoming events related to the exhibition for kids, families and adults.
QUILEUTE TEEN WORKSHOP
In June 2010, a team of SAM Museum Educators traveled to La Push, Washington and facilitated a day-long workshop with young members of the Quileute tribe: Kenneth Abrahams, Tylan Bouch, Bryson King, James King, Sky Penn and Gabe Pullen. Using Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series along with images from various commercial ad campaigns as prompts, the participating youth –ages 11-20 examined pop cultural representations of the Quileute and other Native Peoples, discussed the concept of cultural heritage and photographed portraits of themselves and their community. The photographs, film footage and teacher materials that emerged from this workshop reflect the incredible pride and responsibility these teens feel for their community and their roles as caretakers of Quileute history and culture.
PERFORMANCE AT OPENING CELEBRATION
The Brotman Forum was packed with energy Saturday for the opening celebration of Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves. More than 1,600 people turned out to see the Quileute Nation drum circle and to hear stories from the Quileute culture.
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