Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Library Plans "Native American Heritage" Events

BISBEE, AZ – To celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November, the Copper Queen Library will present a book discussion, a lecture, and a documentary film series to highlight Native American culture and history.

On November 7 at 6:30pm, Arizona Humanities Council Scholar Jay van Orden will present “Warriors and Beyond: A Closer Look at the Clothing, Equipment, and Lifestyle of the Chiricahua Apache.” He will use both C. S. Fly’s photographic images and information gathered from original accounts to explore the topic, illustrate comparisons, and create discussion.

Now living in Tucson, van Orden worked for the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) for thirty-two years. As Director of Field Services, he made and maintained connections with most of the state’s local history museums. He remains busy in retirement with research and writing related to Geronimo, the Apaches, and the Civil War in Arizona.

The following week, on November 14 at 6:30pm, Arizona Humanities Council scholar Cheryl Mead will facilitate a book discussion of Tony Hillerman’s Dance Hall of the Dead, a Joe Leaphorn mystery about a Zuni Indian boy, the victim of a bizarre ritual slaying, and his best friend, a Navajo boy trained in the secret rites, who is missing.

Mead holds a Masters degree in Culural Anthroplogy and teaches courses on Native American culture at Cochise College. She says that she loves all of Hillerman’s books, especially since they help break stereotypes of Native Americans. She notes that the Zuni are among the few Native American tribes that maintained more of their original culture – which makes Hillerman’s work an even better look at Native peoples and cultures of the Southwest.

For those interested in participating in the discussion, several copies of Dance Hall of the Dead are now available for sign-out at the Library Circulation Desk.

To provide an even broader overview of Native American cultures and struggles, on three Mondays in November at 5:30pm (the library will be closed on November 12 to commemorate Veterans’ Day), the Monday Night “Did You Know?…” Documentary Film series will feature 500 Nations, a multi-part documentary that looks back at life in North America before the arrival of the Europeans and follows the epic struggles of Indian Nations as the continent is reshaped by contact.

November’s Native American Heritage programming is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Friends of the Copper Queen Library, these events are made possible in part by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council.

For further information, contact the library at 432-4232.