Profile profile for greenra

Rayna Green

Curator Emerita

Ph.D., Folklore and American Studies, Indiana University, 1973

M.A. American Studies, 1966, Southern Methodist University

B. A., American Literature, 1963, Southern Methodist University

Research Specialties: 

American identity, the politics of culture in contemporary American Indian art and music, American and American Indian material culture, American Indian women, American Indian agriculture and foodways, contemporary American foodways and wine.


Current Projects:

co-curate exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000. Select objects, collect objects, do research, write script for several sections of exhibition, produce video (for wine section)

with other curators, public programmers, develop and produce a number (several years)  of public programs, associated with FOOD exhibition

Public program development and production of programs on American foodways; produce small (4 case), temporary exhibition on American Indian objects in NMAH collection

  • Historian and video director/editor for continuing team effort, The American Wine and Food History Project
  • Research on contemporary American Indian art and music, artists and performers
  • Editing video of wine project with an eye toward a production and distribution medium.

Past Projects:

  • Co-curated collection, exhibition, and Web site on Julia Child's Kitchen; produced a series of related public programs, including a culinary opera, Bon Appétit
  • Produced study of Native collections relating collections to curriculum at Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, "Survival/Art/History: American Indian Collections at the Hood Museum of Art", 2001
  • Served as curatorial advisor, writer for two exhibitions at Heard Museum, Pueblos, Art and the Fred Harvey Company and the Away From Home: the American Indian Boarding School
  • On-camera appearances, in connection with "Bon Appétit: Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian, on WGBH-TV /Boston production of PBS "American Experience" bio of Julia Child; appeared on camera in The Food Network Tribute to Julia Child
  • Advise many museums on exhibition production/content, collections acquisition, script review and rewrrite (eg: National Museum of the American Indian/DC, Heard Museum/AZ, Mashantucket Pequot Museum/CT, North Carolina Museum of History, Cherokee Heritage Center/OK; Arizona State Museum/AZ, National Museum for Women in the Arts, American Museum of Folk Art/NY, Carnegie Museum, the Exploratorium, Museum of New Mexico, Chippewa Vallet Museum/WI, Museum of Our National Heritage/MA, Woodland Indian Cultural Center/CAN
  • Served on Advisory Committee, produced treatment for To Lead and To Serve: American Indian Education at Hampton Institute, 1873-1923, (temporary and traveling) , wrote introductory essay to catalogue of show. Hampton University, VA
  • Supervised and initiated design, production and tear-down, subsequent to script review and advisement in development phases showing of The Way to Independence: Memories of a Hidatsa Indian Family, 1840-1920, produced by Minnesota Historical Society, 1989
  • On-camera appearance and interviews, for 3 hour PBS documentary on the history of photography, Middlemarch Films, 1999; with Good Morning America, on ice cream in American life, July, 1997
  • Curated small exhibition and virtual exhibition for the Web, Doubtless As Good: Jefferson's Dream for American Winemaking, NMAH, 1996
  • Script review and treatment for Commerce and Conflict: Flowerdew 100 and for The Gateway Pueblo of Pecos, two Columbian Quincentenary exhibitions on historic archaeology, NMAH, 1994
  • Produced and edited Native Writer's Circle of the Americas: A Directory, with Wordcraft Circle: Native Writers of the Americas, 1993
  • Co-curator of American Encounters, an exhibition to commemorate 500 years of the encounter between indigenous peoples and the Europeans who came to the Americas; major collecting effort for, wrote script, co-produced, co- directed, and directed three films for the exhibition, American Encounters and for the educational curriculum package that accompanied the exhibition; advised on a recording, Howard Bass, producer, Native Music of New Mexico, Smithsonian Folkways; and book produced relative to the exhibition, Howard Morrison, with Richard Ahlborn, Lisa Falk, Rayna Green, Lonn Taylor. American Encounters: An Exhibition Book, NMAH, 1992
  • Project with staff at National Zoo to produce native and ethnic plant tour at Zoo and educational poster series on indigenous and imported plant uses (Edwin Gould and Rayna Green. "American Indian Plant Medicines", "American Indian Foods", "African-American Food and Medicinal Plants": Poster Series, with teacher's booklet. NMAH/National Zoological Park, 1992
  • Advisor to radio production of live performance of contemporary American Indian music, "Indian Air-obics" and a debate on Indian sovereignty, "Sovereign to Sovereign", for 2 hour shows produced by Smithsonian/Native American Public Broadcasting Corporation/ American Public Radio presentation,1992; Advisor to American Public Radio production of "Spirits of the Present," a 13 part radio show on American Indian History, aired during 1992
  • Adviser, development and production of audiocassette/CD, Native American Music of New Mexico, produced by Smithsonian Folkways and NMAH Public Programs, 1992
  • Writer/artistic director for We Are Here: 500 Years of Pueblo Resistance, an exhibition documentary. Winner of Cine Golden Eagle; Script development and advisor for 15 part radio series, Spirits of the Present, on the 1992 observance of Columbus' voyage to America, Radio Smithsonian/Native American Public Broadcasting Corporation; Advisory Board for script development, 1992
  • On-camera appearances and interviews, in Ishi, the Last Yahi, a feature length film. Rattlesnake Productions, 1991; on Canadian Broadcasting Company's mini-series on Indian Stereotypes, 1991; on German Public TV and British Broadcasting Corporation film on Indian stereotypes, 1991; Smithsonian Telecommunications. Appeared as sole on-camera resource in 3 minute PSA on exhibition, The Way to Independence; 1988; National Public Radio. All Things Considered piece on The Way to Independence
  • Project, with Philip Spiess, Jennifer Vigil, Nancy Mithlo et al. to produce and update definitive bibliographic resource: Native American Sacred Objects, Skeletal Remains, Repatriation and Reburial: A Resource Guide, 1988, 1990, 1991,1994
  • Organized, produced conference, produced pub., on dams, development, and Indians, 1991; developed production formats and produced Radio Smithsonian program on dams, development and American 1991
  • Script development, Children's Television Workshop, Sesame Street Discovers America, 1991 airtime (canceled); Script Advisor, KERA-TV, Dallas, TX. No Middle Ground, a 90 minute public television docudrama on the expulsion of the Comanches from Texas (scripting); Script and Production Advisor,WHA-TV, Madison, WI, for Winds of Change, a 6 part public television series on the historical roots of contemporary American Indian life (2 segments in production), aired fall, 1990; Script Advisor, WGBH-TV (Boston),, 6 part series on Columbus and the Age of Discovery, for 1991-92 airing
  • Organized a conference and report, A Report on Contemporary American Indian Art (with Jennifer Vigil), Phoenix: ATLATL, 1990
  • Production of a conference and supporting educational materials (A Resource Kit on American Indians and the U.S. Constitution) on Indians and the Constitution of the United States, 1989
  • Produced and appeared as on-air narrator, in broadcast on Seneca music, Radio Smithsonian; 1989; Producer/Editor. American Indian History on Radio. Radio cassette package, based on thirty programs developed and broadcast by Radio Smithsonian for rebroadcast by Indian public radio and classroom use, 1988; Scriptwriter, Radio Smithsonian. Scripted and appeared in 30 minute segment on exhibition, The Way to Independence; 1988
  • Project to produce, with Native education agency, Resource Guides to: Museums As Educational Tools For Indian Education; Resources in American Indian Performing Arts and Resources in American Indian Literature. ORBIS, Associates, Washington, DC., 1986
  • Exhibit Planning Committee, collections acquisition, development, script rewrite and object label rewrite of American Indian/Seneca sections of Life in America: the 19th-century , and the 18th century permanent exhibitions, NMAH, 1984
  • Planner for Development of Native American Program, 1984; and Planner for Major Reinstallation of Science and Technology Collections, Department of History of Science and Technology; 1984-86
  • As Director of the Project on Native Americans in Science for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1976-1980, and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College, 1980-1984, produced a number of studies, collaborative projects with Native and scientific organizations on Native participation in science, math and engineering; also produced a number of publications on the topic: "Native Americans in Science: Science Organizations Join Forces to Help Build Resources." The Exchange: A Journal of Native American Philanthropic News. 1, no.l (May, 1976); with Shirley Malcom. "AAAS Project on Native Americans in Science." Science 194 (November 5, 1976); A Report on the Barriers Obstructing Entry of Native Americans Into the Sciences. Washington, D.C.: AAAS, 1976; A Bibliography of Works on Native American Science Education and Manpower Development and A Guide to American Indian Scientific Professional Associations and Advisory Councils. Washington, D.C.: AAAS, 1976; A Report on American Indian Mathematics Education to the National Science Foundation. Washington, D.C.: Project on Native Americans in Science, AAAS, 1977; Science, Mathematics and Health Education in American Indian Community Colleges: A Report to the National Institutes of Health. Washington, D.C.: AAAS, 1977; with Janet Welsh Brown. "Math Avoidance: A Barrier to American Indian Science Education and Careers." Bureau of Indian Affairs Education Resource Bulletin. 6, no.3 (September), 1977; "Recommendations for the Improvement of Science and Mathematics Education for American Indians." BIA Education Resource Bulletin. 5, no.l (January, 1977); with Shirley Malcom, "Native Americans Find Some Barriers Breaking Down." Science 195 (January 7, 1977): 55-56; Conference on American Indian Science and Health Education." Science 196 (April 1, 1977); "Bridges: Indian Mathematics Literacy." Kui Tatk: Newsletter of the Native American Science Education Newsletter. 1, no. 1 (Spring, 1984); A Resource Guide to American Indian Scientific and Technical Development. Washington, D.C.: Project on Native Americans in Science, AAAS, 1979 ; Energy Resource Development on Indian Lands: A Report on the Northern Plains. AAAS, 1978; with Terrie Ann Duda. "A Bibliography on Native American Energy Development and Protection." in The CERT Report 5, no. 1 (April 25, 1983): 1-14, 1981
  • Advisor on WETA-TV hour production on Comet Halley (aired 86); Advisory consultant for Spaces, a television series on science for children, Interamerica Group and WETA TV, Washington, D.C.. 4 segments out of six for pilot series completed, 1983; Content and production consultant to 5-4-3-2-1 Contact, a children's science television series, Children's Television Workshop, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, New York City, 1981; Content and Script Consultant for Myths and Moundbuilders, a television script and magazine article for Odyssey series, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WGBH TV, Boston, MA., 1981
  • Research and script consultant/writer for More Than Bows and Arrows, a feature-length, multi-prize winning film on American Indian contributions to American life. Produced by Cinema Associates of Seattle, Washington and the Thirteenth Alaskan Regional Native Corporation. Narrated by Scott Momaday, 1978
  • On-air radio interview on American Indian food and Thanksgiving, on National Public Radio Series, Seasonings, 1994; on-air narrator, in broadcast on Seneca music, Radio Smithsonian; 1989; appeared four times on Radio Smithsonian segments on the art of Woodland Indians, Plains Indian warfare, Native scientific and medical traditions
  • Proposal reviews for Educational Foundation of America and the Museums and Media Programs, NEH; television script review for the Annenberg Foundation, PBS; exhibition script review for Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta
Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • Lehman Brady Professor of Documentary Studies and American Studies, Duke University and University of North Carolina,  Fall, 2008.
  • The Seeger Lecturer, Society for Ethnomusicology, 2004
  • The Stice Lecturer, University of Washington, 2004
  • Awarded Rockefeller Residency (connecting the museum collections to the Native Studies curriculum) at Dartmouth College, jointly sponsored by the Hood Museum of Art and Native American Studies, 2001
  • Honorary Doctorates in Humane Letters, Gustavus Adolphus College and Middleburg College, 1992
  • Women of Distinction Award, National Conference of College Women
  • Ciné Golden Eagle, Scriptwriter, "We Are Here: 500 Years of Pueblo Sovereignty"
  • Golden Apple, National Education Film Board, "Corn Is Who We Are: The Story of Pueblo Indian Food"
  • 1991: Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award, Center for Women Policy Studies
  • Sequoyah Fellow, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, 1980
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Indian Society of Washington, DC., 1988
  • Ford Foundation/National Academy of Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellow in Anthropology and Visiting Scholar, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1984
  • Fellow, Society of Applied Anthropology
  • Pre-doctoral Fellowship in American Studies and Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, 1970
Professional Affiliations: 
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  • American Folklore Society, former President
  • American Society for Ethnohistory, former Councillor
  • Cherokee Honor Society, founding member
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society, founding member


"More Than Meets the Eye: Gertrude Kasebier’s ‘Indian’ Photographs," with Helena Wright, guest editor. The History of Photography Journal (Winter 2000).

Examines the “Indian” photographs by Gertrude Kasebier, in NMAH collections, and compares her work to the clichés of 19th century Native photography.

"By The Waters of the Minnehaha: Music, Pageants and Princesses in the Indian Boarding Schools." with John Troutman. In M. Archuleta, T. Lomawaima and B. Child. Away From Home: American Indian Boarding Schools. Phoenix, AZ: The Heard Museum, 1999.

Explores government and missionary attempts to assimilate Indians in boarding schools, and many of the student’s adaptive strategies for cultural preservation and resistance.

"A Modest Proposal: The Museum of the Plains White Person," in Senator Robert Torricelli, Andrew Carroll, and Andrew Dubill, eds. In Our Own Words: Greatest Speeches of The American Century. Kodansha America, Inc., 1999.

A satirical reversal of the usual representation of Native Americans in museums.

The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America, with Melanie Fernandez. London, Bloomington, IN, Toronto, Canada: British Museum Press, 1999.

Up-to-date histories and cultures of first peoples (North America) from a native perspective; highly illustrated, with stories, poems, eye-witness, first person accounts from native peoples on events, issues, art, mythologies, gender roles, economics, contact, sovereignty, self-determination, land, environment. Uses artifacts from the collections at the British Museum and Smithsonian.

Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women, 1995, and Heartbeat II, 1998. Producer, with Howard Bass. CD/audiocassette recording. 79 minutes. Smithsonian Folkways.

A landmark sound recording in 2 volumes, of the music of contemporary American Indian women.

"Down Home In the City: A Store-Bought Remembrance." Wine, Food and the Arts, II: Works Gathered By the American Institute of Wine and Food. San Francisco: AIWF and Swan’s Island Books, 1997.

An essay on food and memory.

"We Never Saw These Things Before': Southwest Indian Laughter and Resistance to the Invasion of the Tse va ho." In M. Weigle and Barbara Babcock. The Great Southwest of the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway. Phoenix: The Heard Museum, 1996.

An essay on the uses of traditional and contemporary visual art and material culture as a form of resistance among Pueblos.

"The Texture of Memory: Historical Process and Contemporary Art." In S. Cahan and Zoya Kocur. Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education. New York: Routledge and the New Museum for Contemporary Art, 1996.

An essay on contemporary Native visual art as commentary on history.

From Ritual to Retail: Pueblos, Tourism and the Fred Harvey Company. Producer/Director. 17 minute documentary short video. Produced in association with the exhibition, Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art, 1995, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ.

A film which explores the impact of the Fred Harvey Company and early 20th century tourism on Native art and culture.

"The Tribe Called Wannabee: Playing Indian in Europe and America." Folklore (England) 99 (1988): 30–35; reprinted in in W. Fleming and J, Watts, eds. Visions of A People: Introduction to Native American Studies, and in Bruchac, ed. Contemporary Cherokee Prose Writing, 1995.

A much-cited and reprinted essay which details the culturally-expressive manifestations of “playing Indian” in American popular culture.

"The Tribe Called Wannabee: Playing Indian in Europe and America" (1988); reprinted in W. Fleming and J, Watts, eds. Visions of A People: Introduction to Native American Studies, 1994.

A much-cited and reprinted essay, used in Native studies curricula on the centrality of representations of Native Americans in American popular culture to American identity, particularly the phenomenon of "playing Indian."

Corn Is Who We Are: Pueblo Indian Food. Co-Director (scripting, casting, artistic direction, edit) for film. 20 minute documentary short film. Produced by Alturas Films and Smithsonian Telecommunications. Winner, Silver Apple, National Educational Film Festival, 1994; English Spanish language versions.

A film that explores the centrality of corn to Pueblo culture, history and health and the death and rebirth of corn agriculture in Pueblo country.

“Culture and Gender in Indian America." In Patricia Hill Collins and Margaret Anderson, eds. Race, Culture and Gender: An Anthology. Belmont, Ca., Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1994.

Article on Native women’s persistent and changing roles in Native cultures.

"Grass Don't Grow On a Racetrack and Other Paradigms for Folklore and Feminism." Introduction to Jane Young et al, eds. Folklife and Feminist Theory, University of Illinois Press, 1993 (appeared, January, 1994).

An attempt to characterize the central themes and issues of feminist theory produced by folklore scholars.

"Repatriating Images: Indians and Photography." Rendezvous 28. Nos. 1 and 2 (Spring/Fall, 1993). (Appeared, July, 1994): 151–158.

An article that explores the movement among contemporary Native photographers to comment on and redeem Native identities from the misrepresentations in photography of the past.

"Mythologizing Pocahontas." In Carol E. Robertson. Musical Repercussions of 1492: Encounters in Text and Performance. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.

An examination of the representations and images—in American music—of Native American women.

"Red Earth People and Southeastern Basketry," in Linda Mowat, ed. Basketmakers: Meaning and Form in Native American Baskets. Oxford, England: Pitt Rivers Museum, 1992.

A look at the history and contemporary manifestations of basketry from Native Southeastern people.

"The Mickey Mouse Kachina." American Art 1, no. 1 (1992).

An examination of an object from the collections of the National Museum of American Art, which suggests the possibilities for culture change and for humor and resistance in cntemporary Native/Hopi material culture.

We Are Here: 500 Years of Pueblo Resistance. Scriptwriter, artistic direction, casting for film. 14 minute documentary short film. Produced by Smithsonian Telecommunications, in association with the exhibition, American Encounters, National Museum of American History. Winner, Cine Golden Eagle, 1992.

A film which examines the Pueblo struggle to retain their land and their sovereignty in the face of invasion and domination attempts by Europeans and Americans.

"Rosebuds of the Plateau: Frank Matsura and the Fainting Couch Aesthetic," in Lucy Lippard, ed. Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North Americans. New York: New Press, 1992; reprinted in Dark Night, 2000.

A piece of creative nonfiction that comments on historical photography of Indians and reimagines the history of the two Northwest Coast women in a turn-of-the-century photograph by Frank Matsura, a Japanese photographer in Washington State.

"Native American Food," in Kirlin, eds. Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

On Native foodways from all major cultural regions (Plains, Northwest Coast, Southeast, Northeast, Southwest) and on the death and rebirth of Native agriculture, subsistence, and food production. With recipes.

Women in American Indian Society, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1991.

Used as a textbook in many colleges; an introduction to the histories and cultures of Native women in North America. Illustrated with art, photography and material culture.

"On Looking in the Mirror of An Institution," Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy Newsletter; reprinted in Northeast Indian Quarterly, Summer, 1990; The Graduate Quill, SUNY/Buffalo, April, 1991.

An article, taken from a keynote address at the opening of an exhibition on Indian education at Hampton Institute, which suggests the lessons learned for the present from an examination of a particular moment in the historical past.

"American Indian Women: Diverse Leadership for Social Change" in Albrecht and Brewer, eds. Bridges of Power: Women's Multicultural Alliances. Santa Cruz, Calif.: New Society Publishers, 1990; re-edited from “Culture and Gender in Indian America,” Sojourner: The Women's Forum 15 (September, 1989).

An essay which sets out some of the historical and cultural perameters of Native gender roles, cultural change, and political power in Native America.

"American Indian Art in Oklahoma" Oklahoma Today Special Issue on American Indian Art, (December, 1990).