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Seminoles open museum near hotel, casino

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - The Seminole Tribe of Florida has opened the new
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum right on the doorstep of its Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
in Hollywood.

Seminole Chairman Mitchell Cypress used a tribal machete to cut the ribbon
at the museum's opening May 17.

The new museum is at the eastern end of Seminole Paradise, a complex that
includes an Improv comedy club and the Renegade Barbeque Co. The area was
once the site of the Okalee Village that was dismantled when the hotel and
casino was constructed.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki is the Seminole word for "to learn." The new museum is an
urbanized version of the first Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum that opened in 1997 and
still welcomes visitors at Big Cypress Reservation north of Alligator Alley
(I-75) about midway across the state.

The opening of the museum in Hollywood brings back the exposure to Seminole
culture that visitors enjoyed when they visited the original Okalee
Village, which began hosting visitors in 1960.

At the new museum, educational exhibits include the evolution of Seminole
clothing, a 22-foot dugout canoe with text and photos highlighting the
importance of the canoe in tribal life, and paintings by Seminole and
non-Seminole artists. A two-story mural by a self-trained Native artist,
the late Fred Beaver, is an accent on the new museum.

The mural is triangular because it once graced the walls of the original
Okalee Village's A-framed arts and crafts center.

The museum is located on U.S. 441 north of Sterling Road, Hollywood and is
open 9 a.m - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. More information is available
by calling (954) 797-5570 or e-mailing hollywoodmuseum@semtribe.com.