|A-Y-P: Indigenous Voices Reply
As Seattle commemorates the centennial of a world's fair that helped shape the region as it is today, a new Burke Museum exhibit takes a critical look at how indigenous peoples were represented at the fair.
In 1909, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (A-Y-P) celebrated the explosion of development in Washington State since the 1897 Yukon Gold Rush and showcased the resources of the region. Nearly four million visitors to the fair were exposed to representations of indigenous cultures from around the Pacific in ways that would seem abhorrent in 2009. Organizers of the A-Y-P did not have the same standards for cross-cultural understanding that prevail today. Indigenous communities were culturally exploited for entertainment and to promote Western capitalism across the Pacific.
A-Y-P: Indigenous Voices Reply juxtaposes historic objects and photographs from the 1909 fair with contemporary artwork by Native artists to explore how the representation and understanding of indigenous people and cultures has changed or not changed over 100 years. Sixteen contemporary artists will be featured in A-Y-P: Indigenous Voices Reply.
A-Y-P: Indigenous Voices Reply was organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Major support for the exhibition has been provided by 4Culture / King County Lodging Tax Fund, the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, John and Joyce Price, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and the University of Washington Office of the Provost. A-Y-P: Indigenous Voices Reply is part of a city-wide celebration of the centennial of the A-Y-P Exposition. For more about the 2009 A-Y-P Centennial, visit www.ayp100.org.
Photo by Frank H. Nowell, courtesy Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries, neg. no. Nowell 1990