Sarita McGowan Looks Forward to her Visit to the American Museum

July 7, 2015 - Zoe Dennington and Sarita McGowan

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Next week our Spirit Hawk Eye Native American Cultural Season begins with the arrival of three of the sitters featured in Heidi Laughton’s portrait photography series, currently on show at the Museum: painter Nocona Burgess, storyteller and educator Alan Salazar, and dancer, craftswoman, and community advocate Sarita McGowan.

Sarita is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska. She will be giving classes and exhibitions of traditional regalia, dance, and the history and contemporary culture of the Iowa Tribe, as well as leading practical workshops. Sarita currently volunteers in correctional facilities, sharing Native American spirituality with incarcerated men and women. She looks forward to sharing the effects of this work through her talks and presentations.

In preparation for her visit, Sarita has been researching the 14 members of the Iowa Tribe who travelled to Europe in 1844 to represent their tribe. Several members of the group sadly died whilst travelling, and Sarita will be visiting the places they are laid to rest. She says:

‘One week left… We are so grateful to the American Museum in Britain for this experience and the opportunity to visit the locations where my ancestors journeyed in 1844.

Not only are we going to be guests of the Museum, we will also visit the three locations where my people were laid to rest and fill canupa… Roman Nose (Wanije)—Liverpool or London, still confirming… Little Wolf’s (Wanije) wife, One Who Walks on the Back of Another (Wanije)— Montmartre/Paris , and Corsair Little Papoose (Wanije)— Newcastle Upon Tyne…  I am so honoured to be able to represent the Ioway People at the American Museum in Bath, UK, where I will be doing an exhibition dance of Northern Traditional Buckskin and speaking on the Ioway People past and present. Hope to see you there!’

You can view the full programme of Spirit Hawk Eye events here. Click here to learn more about Heidi Laughton’s exhibition.