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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


"The Image of the Indian in American Popular Culture" in Wilcomb Washburn, ed. The Handbook of North American Indians IV. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press: 587–606, 1989.
"Poor Lo and Dusky Ramona: Scenes From a Nineteenth Century Album on Indian America," in Jane Becker, ed. Folk Roots, New Roots: The Formation of American Folk Culture. Boston, MA: Museum of Our National Heritage: Lexington, MA, 1989.

An examination of the visual and material manifestations.

"Kill the Indian and Save The Man: Indian Education in the United States." Introduction to To Lead and To Serve: Indian Education at Hampton Institute, 1978–1923. an exhibition catalog. Charlottesville: Virginia Foundation on Humanities and Public Policy, 1989.

An introduction to an exhibition on Indian education at Hampton Institute with a brief history and analysis of US policy and practice in the education of Indians in the 19th and twentieth centuries.

"The Beaded Adidas," in Charles Camp, ed. Time and Temperature: A Centennial Retrospective. Washington, DC: American Folklore Society, 1989: 66–67; reprinted in The Messenger (Wheelwright Museum Newsletter), 1989; The Runner (Smithsonian American Indian Newsletter); 1990.

A piece which examines a modern American Indian object–a pair of beaded running shoes–and comments on scholarly resistance to changing forms in American Indian expressive culture.

"Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville: The Cult of Nachismo and the New American Cuisine." The Digest: A Newsletter for the Interdisciplinary Study of Food 6, no.1 (Fall): 1, 25–28, 1986.

A critique of contemporary adaptations of traditional foodways in modern “fusion” food.

That's What She Said: Contemporary Fiction and Poetry By Native American Women, ed. Bloomington, Indiana, 1984.

A brief literary history of the creative work of American Indian women with sections from 12 representative
contemporary writers.

Native American Women: A Contextual Bibliography. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1984.

Comprehensive bibliography on Native North American women, with historical commentary.

"Folk Is A Four-Letter Word: Dealing With Traditional **** in Fieldwork, Analysis and Presentation" in Richard M. Dorson, ed. The Handbook of American Folklore. Bloomington, In.: Indiana University Press, 1981.

An article which attempts to set some guidelines for scholarly fieldwork, analysis and presentation of bawdy or obscene materials.

"Culturally-Based Science: The Value to Traditional People, Science and Folklore," in Venetia Newall, ed. Folklore in the Twentieth Century, London: Rowman and Littlefield: 204–212, 1981.

An essay which suggests the value, to scholars and traditional cultures, of folklorists’ and social scientists’ attentions to the scientific traditions of the cultures they study—particularly in areas such as medicine, botany, pharmaceutics, agriculture.

"Traditional Cultures in a Technology-Based World." Darshana: Sinhalese Journal of Culture. (Spring): 19–23. (in Sinhalese).

A proposal for constructing technological change using a culture-based approach.

"Snail Darters, Indians and Social Impact Assessment: Resisting the Politics of Doom." Anthropology Resource Center Newsletter. 4, no. 1 (March): 1, 1980.
"Towards A Code of Ethics in the Conduct of Culturally-Based Scientific Research" in JV Martinez and Diana Marinez, eds. Aspects of Indian and Hispanic Involvement in Biomedical Research: Proceedings of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists, 1981. Bethesda, Md: National Institutes of Health, 1980.

An article that lays the groundwork for the development of a code of ethics in culturally-based scientific research.

Indian SIA: The Social Impact Assessment of Rapid Resource Development on Native Peoples, with Charles Geisler, Patrick West, eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources Report Series, 1980.
"Indian Stereotypes." Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife Handbook (October): 18–21, 1980.
"An Addendum on American Indian Cultural Policies" to the Report of the American Indian Policy Review Commission. with Arnold T. Anderson et al. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1977.

An analysis of U.S. policies relative to Native American cultures (language, education, art production and preservation, music) for a federally commisioned report.

"Magnolias Grown in Dirt," Southern Exposure, 1977; reprinted in J. Zandy. Calling Home: Working-Class Women's Writings. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990.

A much-cited essay on bawdy oral traditions among Southern women, with special reference to particular traditions in my own family.

"The Pocahontas Perplex: Images of American Indian Women in American Culture," The Massachussetts Review. 16 (Autumn): 698–714; reprinted in E. DuBois and Ruiz. Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women's History. London: Routledge, Kegan and Paul, 1990; reprinted in S. Lobo and S. Talbot. Native American Voices: A Reader. New York: Longman, 1998.

A much-reprinted article used widely in collegiate curricula (Native Studies and Women’s Studies); deals with images and representations—visual, material, philosophical—of Native American women in American culture; the centrality of some of the representations (the Princess and the Squaw) to American popular culture and American identity.

Pissing in the Snow And Other Ozark Folktales, editing and "Introduction," by Vance Randolph. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976; ix–xxix; Avon Paper edition, 1977. In print, University of Illinois Press, 1999, in its 15th edition; in print and in its 20th edition, 2003.

A collection of heretofore-unpublished tales of the noted Ozark collector and folklorist, Vance Randolph, which I edited and brought to publication.

"Vance Randolph's 'Unprintable' Tales." Mid-South Folklore. 3, no.3 (1976).

An article on bringing Vance Randolph’s “bawdy” Ozark folktales to print.

"Traits of Indian Character: The 'Indian' Anecdote in American Vernacular Culture." Southern Folklore Quarterly. 39 (September, 1976).

An article on a particular genre of oral tradition, the anecdote, and its appearance in oral tradition relative to images and representations of Indians.

"The Only Good Indian: Images of the American Indian in American Vernacular Culture," PhD Dissertation, Indiana University, 1973.

A dissertation on images and representations of American Indians in American culture, with an emphasis on visual and material representations and on oral tradition taken from collections at the Smithsonian Institution.

"Research in the Nation's Junkpile: Folklore Research in the Smithsonian Institution." Folklore Forum 5, no. 1(January, 1972).

An article, based on dissertation research at the Smithsonian, commenting on the usefulness of collections there to folklorists and researchers in American material culture.