The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian at One Bowling Green offers New Yorkers the best of what Washington D.C has to offer: free admission to museums.
This summer, the museum opened Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean. The exhibit is a reflection of a growing interest across the Caribbean in the historical, cultural, and genetic legacies of the native peoples, the Taínos. The exhibit offers room after room of tidbits of the Taíno culture, from essential crops to Arawak vocabulary. Part of what makes indigenous cultures of South and Central America so hard to trace, is the melding of peoples in the post-Columbian era. Even the known Taíno homes and gardens, or bohio and conuco, have European, African, and Asian influences.
This eclectic collection ties the past to the present, hosting not only a Conch Shell bought from a Puerto Rican coffee farmer and an axe purchased from Gimbels department store, but a skateboard designed by Bronx-raised Bert Correa, and will run through October, 2019.