Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A field trip

Yesterday, we took a field trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum to wrap up our study of the American Indians.  MPM has a great Native American exhibit and it's so much more interesting to view it when you know what you are looking at!  I've been there about 40 times (it was a yearly trek with my Grandma when we spent a summer's week with her) and I've seen the exhibits all those times.  But to look at them with my kids, through their eyes was so much fun!

I never noticed the cool totem poles they have, nor how the Northwest exhibit is housed in a cedar plankhouse.  They even have some actual cedar planks from the Northwest, over a hundred years old.  They have mini dioramas of life scenes of many different tribes.  Daisy is particularly fascinated by these.  Often, they will have actual artifacts displayed nearby as depicted in the diorama.  The girls loved to read the desriptions of the items and shout, "Mom!  look at this!  We read this in...." 


There is even a real Haida canoe hanging from the ceiling in the lobby!  How cool is that!  In all the times we were there, we never saw it!


We examined the inside of a Pueblo, saw an impressive Kachina collection, found Blackfeet artifacts, looked inside a teepee and saw a recreated, life-size Iroquois encampment.


The very best part, for every child who visits the museum, however is the Buffalo Hunt!  It is a life-size diorama with 5 or 6 real bison, 2 real horses with Indians on horseback, in a hunt.    There is something awesome about seeing real bison up close and personal, even if they are dusty.  There is a small swatch of buffalo hide to pet and feel.  Then there is a small diorama of a chase-the-buffalo-over-the-cliff hunt which always fascinates the kids.  They love to look at death and destruction.


It was a very fun day.  Sunshine stayed with my mom, so it was relaxing, too.  It was good to have some time with just the three middles.

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