Press Release
Note No. 5866

Note to Correspondents



The exhibit “In Celebration of Indigenous Peoples”, featuring indigenous art from around the world, will open on Tuesday, 11 May at 6:30 p.m. in the Visitors’ Lobby of the United Nations Headquarters.

It showcases “Kickin’ Up Dust”, a photographic exhibit of cultural festivals of indigenous Australians, co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations and the Australian Consulate-General.  Also featured is “Cultures on the Edge” -- photos by National Geographic photographers Chris Rainier, Angela Fisher, Carol Beckwith, Wade Davis and Phil Borges.  Brazilian photographer Adriano Fagunges is present with portraits of indigenous people of the rainforest. Rebecca Sommer of Earth People presents her video "Women's Wishes for the Earth".

Also showcased are sculptures from Easter Island artist Santi Hitorangi, an installation piece by New Zealand’s Maori artist George Nuku, a mural by Peruvian artist Ccopacatty, beadwork by Iroquois artist Samuel Thomas, paintings by Maasai artist Nangini, totem art by Cherokee artists Kristy and Mary Worthen and North American Lanapi artists Rik Winter-Bear Fryer and Marietta Fryer and pieces by Guatemalan weaver Juanita Velasco, together with artwork from Africa, North and South America and the Caribbean.

With Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Taino) acting as master of ceremonies, Australian indigenous musician Cameron McCarthy will open the event with a piece played on the didgeridoo, an indigenous wind instrument.  Remarks will be made by José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Peter Tesch, Australia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Ole Henrik Magga, Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Ulali, a three-member a cappella group of native women, will perform a musical interlude, accompanying their singing by hand drums.  Yarina, a women’s music and dance group from Ecuador, will offer a dance in honour of indigenous women, followed by the four-member indigenous Ecuadorian group Salasaca Kuna, which as in previous years will play music at the end of the ceremony for participants to dance.

The exhibit marks the third session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which is meeting at United Nations Headquarters (Conference Room 2) from 10 to 21 May, focusing on the theme “Indigenous Women”.

The exhibit was produced by the United Nations Department of Public Information with the support of the Permanent Mission of Australia and the secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  The opening event is sponsored by the secretariat of the Permanent Forum, the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Tribal Link Foundation and the Ingrid Washinawatok Flying Eagle Women’s Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty.

For a virtual tour, see http://www.un.org/events/UNART/indigenous2004.

Contact:  Edoardo Bellando, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: (212) 963-8275, e-mail: bellando@un.org.

* *** *