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MARCH 15 & 16
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“I am Skyhawk. My Anglo-Saxon name is Rosalyn. I am a medicine woman in the Blackfoot heritage.” Skyhawk, along with her sidekick Windfeather, is one of the self-described healers profiled in White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men, an expose on the popularization and commercialization of Native American spiritual traditions by non-Indians. Like mail-order ministers, these charlatans give themselves names right out of Dances With Wolves and cash in on the increasingly lucrative crafts-and-crystals circuit, which has enjoyed a boom since the Grateful Dead stopped touring. “Why don’t they pick a name like Bloody Guts?” gripes one Native American. White Shamans (March 15 at 1:30 p.m.) joins eight other documentaries in the “Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival.” For those interested in Mead herself, there’s Margaret Mead: An Observer Observed (pictured, March 15 at 4 p.m.), which follows her career as a celebrity anthropologist leaving behind a trail of best-sellers and ex-husbands. Other movies in the two-day series include Islands on the Edge of Time (March 16 at 3:30 p.m.), depicting the struggle to preserve the ecosystem and culture of the Micronesian Republic of Palau, Hopes Soaring High (March 16 at 12:30 p.m.), about Indian village women starting their own savings-and-loan program, Sivas—Home of Poets (March 15 at 2:30 p.m.), a profile of the Turkish Alevis, who practice a form of Islam deemed unorthodox by the Sunni majority, Amrit Beeja (The Eternal Seed) (March 16 at 1:30 p.m.), a celebration of Indian women’s agricultural knowledge, Chastie (Paradise) (March 15 at 2 p.m.), a look at everyday life on the Kazakhstan steppe, Then There Were None (March 16 at 4:30 p.m.), a brief history of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and Singsing Tambuan (Mask Dance) (March 16 at 2:30 p.m.), about ceremonies in Papua New Guinea. From 1:30-5:15 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday at the Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Eddie Dean)