Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Things Challenge: Native / Exotic

The National Museum of the American Indian:
America's homage to its native peoples

About the only thing truly, truly native in this town is the National Museum of the American Indian and its artifacts and exhibits. As none of us living in the United States can claim native status aside from the native tribes we displaced in the name of God, the King of England, the King of Spain, the King of France, exploration, religion, exploitation, or whatever other colonialist aspiration our ancestors might have had hundreds of years ago, my submission for Native is the NMAI.

In terms of exotic, I wanted to take pictures of the orchid exhibit this morning at the National Botanical Gardens, but they didn't open until 11:00 and I'd been up and out shooting cherry blossoms since 6:30 AM. I was cold and tired and wanted to get home to see the results of my photography. About the only Exotic thing in these parts is the Abyssinian cat that lives in my house. Abbies are a domesticated cat breed from Ethopia and are reportedly one of the oldest known breeds among cats.

I don't know if I'd call this cat "exotic" as much as I'd call him "lazy."
Being an Abyssinian makes him the former, but that's about it!

Usually abbies are sleek and trim, but this one is fat and happy. I'd be fat and happy, too, if my entire purpose in life was to loll around in the sun all day. Sheesh. (And yes, you've seen this cat before. He featured in the Two Things Challenge: Sun / Shadow. Just for the record: This is not my cat. It belongs to my housemate. I refer to it affectionately as The Dirty Bastard Cat.)

Side note: Technically speaking, Japanese cherry blossoms trees are exotic to the U.S. I suppose those could be my exotic entries for today, too!

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 3/08


The Artful Eye said...

I'm on a cherry blossom high right now. So far no native/exotic for me. I feel like I've failed Lisa :( This one was tough. I'm still playing with one idea.

The museum building appears exotic in architecture, very interesting.

I think this 'cat in a bag' is pretty exotic. Let's face it, in my book your entry is BEST hands down for all the pretty pics you've provided for our viewing pleasure.

The Artful Eye said...

I wasn't about to give up on Native/Exotic
check it out

Maya said...

What is it with cats and bags? I love that shot!

Lara said...

oh, over and over again: I just love cats!and this one is a true work of art :).

D.C. Confidential said...

Andrea: Thanks! The NMAI is built to imitate the cliff dwellings of the southwestern tribes of the Northern Hemisphere. The landscaping around the museum includes water features that mimic a river and the plantings are native species the American (North, Central, South, and Canadian) Indians cultivated. It's a cool museum.

P.S. Your submissions ended up being really cool! Glad you contributed!

Maya: I have no idea, but set a bag on the floor and that cat can entertain himself for a good 10 or 15 minutes.

Lara: Over here, we'd idiomatically say "This cat is a piece of work" meaning he defies conventional description and is outside the bounds of normal, acceptable behavior.

Bev said...

Funnily enough, Frances has a canoe on her entry.

Great entries. However, I am British and without a certain amount of colonialism you certainly wouldn't have the internet and be doing this challenge right now. A lot of sentimentality exists about this sort of thing.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bev: I saw Frances' canoe! It's fabulous.

Ah, colonialism. Definitely a controversial topic, isn't it? America's current pursuits in "democracy building" are the new colonialism of the 21st century.

D.C. Confidential said...

P.S. I should note that my list of non-native colonizing and exploitation isn't just limited to the last three centuries or to past proclivities of the kingdoms of England, Spain, and France.

We have and continue to exploit natural resources in this country and others and we do little to improve the lives of the native peoples living on reservations in this country. We're no better than those who preceded us in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries!

And now I'm violating one of my biggest cardinal rules on this blog: I'm being political. So hard not to do.

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

I'm in love. Yes, I am! That cat is more than gorgeous. Can we clone him? Oh those amazing eyes...

d.c. confidential said...

Fénix: I'll pay you to take him!