Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dr. Rayna Green

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Now serving as curator emerita, Dr. Rayna Green was a curator with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Division of Cultural and Community Life from 1986 to 2014. At the Museum, Green was the director of the American Indian Program and a documentary historian for the American Food and Wine History Project. Her expertise is in American Indian representations, the history of American Indian women, American identity, and American foodways. 

Green co-curated American Encounters and FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950–2000, among other notable projects.

Green has written or edited four books: The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America (1999), Women in American Indian Society (1992), That’s What She Said: Contemporary Fiction and Poetry By Native American Women (1984), and Native American Women: A Contextual Bibliography (1981).  

She earned a Ph.D. in Folklore and American Studies from Indiana University in 1973, a master’s degree in American Studies from Southern Methodist University in 1966, and a bachelor’s degree in American Literature from Southern Methodist University in 1963. 

Green poses in front of an exhibit case.

Related Resources

  • Rayna Green, 2014 Spring Feminisms and the Radical Imagination, Scripps College
  • Rayna Green, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University 
  • Rayna Green, profile, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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