Ramp it Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America


Ramp it Up celebrates the vibrancy, creativity, and controversy of American Indian skate culture. Skateboarding combines demanding physical exertion with design, graphic art, filmmaking, and music to produce a unique and dynamic culture. One of the most popular sports on Indian reservations, skateboarding has inspired American Indian and Native Hawaiian communities to host skateboard competitions and build skate parks to encourage their youth. Native entrepreneurs own skateboard companies and sponsor community-based skate teams. Native artists and filmmakers, inspired by their skating experiences, credit the sport with teaching them a successful work ethic. The exhibition features rare and archival photographs and film of Native skaters as well as skatedecks from Native companies and contemporary artists.

Developed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.


Apr. 28–Sep. 9, 2012
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego, CA

Sep. 29–Nov. 25, 2012
California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA

Mar. 2–Apr. 28, 2013
Littleton Museum
Littleton, CO

May 18–Jul. 21, 2013
Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Mashantucket, CT

Sep. 13–Nov. 09, 2014
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Clewiston, FL

Members of the 4 Wheel Warpony skate team (White Mountain Apache). Photo courtesy of Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo), 2008.
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