Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Audubon Day: A Celebration of Birds

April 04, 2019


On May 4, 2019, the Center for New Mexico Archaeology (CNMA), an affiliate of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC), will collaborate with Audubon New Mexico to host Audubon Day: A Celebration of Birds, at CNMA from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event coincides with Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies, an exhibition currently on view at CNMA, and celebrates the importance of birds across the Southwest.

The event schedule will be family friendly and includes live demonstrations as well as hands-on activities. Attendees will have the opportunity to see CNMA’s exhibition, 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, Assistant Collections Manager for the Archeological Research Collections at the CNMA and MIAC, curated the exhibit and discusses the celebration, “Birds appear in nearly all facets of life in Native American culture, both in the past and today. The spiritual power of birds—or ‘bird power’ as I like to call it—extends to every culture, everywhere.”

To celebrate the relationship between birds and the region’s history, the program presents live birds of prey from On a Wing and a Prayer, a raptor rehabilitation program that provides the public an opportunity to meet these birds close up and learn about their physiological, ecological, and social characteristics. Everyone in attendance is invited to participate in making clay figures, viewing bird-related objects under a microscope, and creating balls out of bird seed. Other activities include “Birding 101,” which teaches attendees the basics of birding skills.

At 11:00 a.m., Jon Hayes, Audubon New Mexico’s Executive Director, will speak on conservation, followed by Marlon Magdalena of Jemez Pueblo who will 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. Diana Sherman will also discuss the making of the birds exhibit.

Demonstrations include the making of a turkey feather blanket by Mary Weahkee (Santa Clara Pueblo/Comanche) and flute and whistle playing by Marlon Magdalena (Jemez Pueblo). CNMA and MIAC are also pleased to present a demonstration of pottery making and other bird objects by renowned Pueblo potter, Robert Tenorio of Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo.

“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!”

CNMA is located at 7 Old Cochiti Road, off the 599 bypass, right across from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society. The exhibition, Birds: Spiritual Messengers of the Skies, may be viewed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday until September 2019.

Audubon Day : A Celebration of Birds

Location: The Center for New Mexico Archaeology, 7 Cochiti Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87507

Date: May 4, 2019

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with speakers beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Tickets: This event is free and family friendly

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