The American Indian in Postage Stamps

Leadership, Accomplishment and Cultural Celebration
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This Flathead headdress, circa 1905, is made from felt and large golden eagle tail feathers, with ermine skin spots and white cow tail hair tied to the end of each feather.

Virtual Exhibit
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29-cent Sacagawea mini sheet stamp

American Indian political, economic and cultural life, founded in ancient tradition and tested by wars and removals, has proven its endurance into the 21st century. Keys to this extraordinary resilience are found in the wisdom and bravery of its historic leaders, the ability of individuals to rise to the mainstream spotlight in the non-Native world, and the continuum of exceptional creativity in the arts. The qualities of contemporary Native leaders and artists are founded in the heritage of their historic predecessors.

This virtual exhibition combines Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and treasures of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The collection has three major sections, Profiles in Leadership; American Indian Lifeways: Restoring Economies; and American Indian Arts: Renaissance of Traditions.

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6-cent Cyrenius Hall "Chief Joseph" stamp
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22-cent Navajo Art stamp

Created by Jose Barreiro (Taino), Assistant Director for Research, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Sandra Starr, Department of Research, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and Thomas Lera, Winton M. Blount Chair in Research, National Postal Museum.