Use a printing block to decorate your own mini paper kite with blackbird or thunderbird motifs. Joslyn Art Museum staff will guide you at the Maha Music Festival
, this Saturday, August 11.
Maha Music Festival is about a pride of place, and its visual identity (a blackbird) is inspired by "the great chief of the Maha tribe, Chief Blackbird. The Maha were the most powerful Native American tribe in the Great Plains — a tribe whose name inspired our city's, and then our festival's." (Drew Davis, Oxide Design Co., for Maha Music Festival)
At Joslyn, decorative elements based on the thunderbird dominate. In the Founder's Room, walnut inlaid with peroba wood was used to create the thunderbird design in the ceiling. In the fountain court, the abstracted thunderbird appears in colorful mosaic tiles. Thunderbird capitals top the marble columns at the top of the grand staircase. This use of the thunderbird was, according to the Museum's architects, "an endeavor to fuse our Classical tradition with some significant expression of indigenous Indian culture. For the Plains and Northwest Indians, the thunderbird was thought an important spirit whose great voice meant the beginning of Spring."
Blackbird or thunderbird? You decide!