A kiosk version of "American Indian Code Talkers," a Smithsonian traveling exhibition in development, premiered at the Navajo Nation Pavilion at the Olympic Arts Festival in Salt Lake City on Feb. 1, and will remain on view until Feb. 24.
The story of the American Indian code talker is told through text and a language chart, which translates Navajo, Comanche, Hopi and Choctaw code. This information is displayed on a 3.3-feet-by-3.3-feet kiosk, which stands about 8.2 feet tall. The kiosk will complement the Navajo Nation's display on the work of Navajo code talkers during World War II, which is part of a larger exhibit, "Discover Navajo: People of the Fourth World".
During the two World Wars of the 20th century, hundreds of Native American soldiers served their country by lending their Native languages to the task of sending secret messages. The most celebrated of these are the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II; however, the Navajos were not the only code talkers. Soldiers from the Hopi, Creek, Comanche, Choctaw, Chippewa, Oneida, Kiowa, Menominee, Muscogee, Seminole, Pawnee, Sac and Fox, and Sioux nations took part in similar missions, using their own Native languages.
"American Indian Code Talkers," a major traveling exhibition in preparation, will begin a tour of the United States in 2005. The exhibition is planned to be developed by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
The Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of Native Americans. In 2004, museum will open its doors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum's George Gustav Heye Center opened in 1994 in New York City and hosts exhibitions, music and dance programs, films, and other symposia. For additional information, please visit www.nmai.si.edu.
Each year, SITES shares a wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people around the country. In 2002, SITES celebrates 50 years of connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage.
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