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Aboriginal Architecture, Living Architecture

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Catalogue Number:  MUME82
Producer:  Mushkeg Media Inc.
Producers:  Lynch, Tamara
Directors:  Rickard, Paul M.
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada
Subject:  American History, Archaeology, Architecture, Arts, Canadian History, Documentary, Environmental Studies, First Nations Studies, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Science, Social Sciences, Social Studies, Tech/Voc
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2005
Running Time:  99:30

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Everyone is familiar with certain types of Indigenous architecture. Traditional igloos and tepees are two of the most enduring symbols of North America itself. But how much do we really know about the types of structures Indigenous Peoples designed, engineered and built? For more than three hundred years, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in North America have had virtually no indigenous architecture. Communities have made do with low-cost government housing and community projects designed by strangers in far away places.

Thankfully, across the continent, political, financial and cultural changes have created a renaissance of Indigenous design. Modern architects from these communities are turning to ancient forms, adapting them in response to changes in the natural and social environment, and creating contemporary structures that hearken to the past. Employing old and new materials and techniques, and with an emphasis on harmony and balance, Indigenous designers are successfully melding current community needs with tradition. The resulting buildings are testaments to the enduring strength and ingenuity of Indigenous design.

Featuring expert commentary and stunning imagery, Aboriginal Architecture, Living Architecture provides a virtual tour of seven Indigenous communities--Pueblo, Mohawk, Inuit, Crow, Navajo, Coast Salish and Haida--revealing how each is actively reinterpreting and adapting traditional forms for contemporary purposes.


"This fascinating video would be ideal for students in many different settings...This thoroughly researched, extremely original film should not be missed. If you are studying native history, art and culture, aboriginal homes, building and design, anthropology, archeology, or architecture, it has much to share. Highly Recommended." - CM Magazine, Manitoba Library Association

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