The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcome to a Native Place
— Lessons from the Sun —
The museum doors—etched with sun symbols—open to the east and greet the rising sun as do many traditional Native homes. Most Native peoples honor the sun as a life-giver and calendar, instructing when to plant, harvest, and conduct ceremonies.
Native societies have studied the sun, moon, and stars for a long time. Through strict observation of nature, people learned the concept of duality, or the balance between two equal states. The duality of nature is reflected here in images of the sun and moon at the museum's main entrances, and male and female plants in each environment.
"There is a design in living things; their shapes, forms, the ability to live, all have meanings."
Popovi Da (San Ildefonso Pueblo)
Erected by Smithsonian Institution.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Native Americans.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 38° 53.294′ N, 77° 0.949′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 341 Maryland Avenue Southwest, Washington DC 20024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Swamp Milkweed • Wihsakán (wee-sah-quam) (here, next to this marker); Wetlands (a few steps from this marker); Can you find symbols… (a few steps from this marker); Cardinal Direction Marker: East (a few steps from this marker); Bald Cypress • Ártu (ar-too) (a few steps from this marker); Broadleaf Cattail • Káhkáhaskwar (kaw-kaw-has-quar) (within shouting distance of this marker); National Native American Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Sunflower • Wádxaweew (wah-ha-way-oh) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
More about this marker.
[Background information on the marker:]
Translation in Virginia Algonquian, Tuscarora, Catawba and Munsee Delaware courtesy Dr. Blair Rodes, University of North Carolina
Knowing This Place
We invite you to walk around the museum grounds and find the panels that explain the meanings of each environment. You will learn about the many ways that Native peoples changed and were influenced by the forest, meadow, wetlands, and croplands.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 177 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on February 10, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 13, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3. submitted on December 3, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.