The Sound of Healing: Native American Art, Music and Dance During Pandemics


Dr. Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe), historian, scholar and author
Patricia Morocco norby (Purépecha), Associate Curator of Native American Art, The Met
Special virtual appearance by Robbie Robertson (Six Nations Mohawk and Cayuga), musician, songwriter, author and actor

Join us for a commemorative evening honoring the artists featured in the exhibitions Native American Art: The Charles and Valérie Diker Collection and water memoriesand to celebrate four years of Native American arts programming in the Met’s American Wing.

Renowned author and premier Jingle Dress researcher Dr. Brenda Child (Red Lake Ojibwe) and Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha), Associate Curator of Native American Art, The Met recognize the history and healing impact of traditions Native American aesthetics in times of pandemic. These artistic practices, including Jingle Dress art, music and dance, have always been a source of strength and revitalization for Indigenous communities. This conversation features a special virtual appearance from Robbie Robertson (Mohawk and Cayuga of Six Nations), acclaimed musician, songwriter, author and actor. The program includes a festive Jingle Dress dance accompanied by the Silvercloud Singers.

For over a century, Anishinaabe communities in the United States and Canada have honored the jingle dresses of Ojibwe women for their healing properties. The dress originated during the 1918 flu pandemic, when many Native American and Indigenous communities, affected by the virus, turned to the Jingle Dance as a source of prayer and comfort. During the dance, the dancers move together, causing the metallic cones adorning their dresses to create a soothing, rhythmic sound. Each dress is unique and highly appreciated for its original aesthetic design.

This program was made possible by Barry Appleton and the Jerome Levy Foundation, in memory of Marvin Schwartz, with the generous support of the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

Free with museum admission, although advance registration is required. Please note: For free programs, we generally over-record to guarantee a full house. Priority will be given to those who register in advance, although registering in advance does not guarantee admission once the auditorium has reached capacity.

Masks are recommended, but not required.

See our visitor guidelines.

This event is presented on the occasion of National Native American Heritage Month.

Assistive listening devices are available from the ushers.

Image: Photo by Patricia Marroquin Norby

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