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American Indian Report | | 01/13/2012

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. welcomes a new exhibit this weekend titled, “Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves.” The exhibit explores the authentic role wolves play in Quileute culture and their story of creation, as opposed to the fictional telling and depiction of supernatural Quileute werewolves in the pop-culture phenomenon, Twilight (a series of books and movies).

Twenty-three works will be on display in the museum’s Sealaska Gallery, including two wolf headdresses, historic drawings created by Quileute students that date back to the 1900s, as well as replicas of items used in the Twilight film series. Also part of the exhibit is a timeline of the Quileute Nation’s history, and video-recorded interviews with tribal members, of various ages, who offer their take on the effects of the Twilight books and movies.

Though the exhibit will be on display through May 9, 2012, opening weekend (Jan. 14 and 15, 2012) brings with it a few special events in conjunction with the Native Storytelling Festival. Quileute elder, Chris Morganroth III, who is one of only two fluent speakers left in the tribe, will give presentations scheduled for both Sat., 1/14 and Sun., 1/15. He will tell traditional Quileute stories geared towards an audience of children and families at 1:30pm on both days in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center. In a separate presentation, he will share information about Quileute culture and how it is portrayed in the teen sensation Twilight series. This presentation will also include traditional Quileute stories and will take place on both Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 3pm in the Rasmuson Theater. This event may be viewed remotely via the museum’s live webcast. Museum and event admission are free of charge.

Information for this article was gathered from the Smithsonian Institute’s press release on December 16, 2011, announcing the exhibit.