Exhibits & Collections
Welcome to the Exhibits & Collections page of the Museum of Indian Culture. The museum maintains and displays a wide variety of items, including stone tool collections, ceramics, carvings, photographs, weapons, beadwork, and basketry from Native peoples throughout the Western hemisphere. Our collections range from Southwestern Hupa baskets, to Aztec ceremonial clothing from Mexico, to stone tools from a Lenape/Delaware rock shelter site in Pennsylvania.
Currently On Display:
Walking in the Ancestors' Footsteps: The Lenape Past and Present
This multi-exhibit series commemorates our partnership with Delaware Nation and the opening of their extension Historic Preservation Office at the museum by exploring their relationship with Lenapehoking, their ancestral homelands, which encompass eastern Pennsylvania and much of the surrounding region. Take a journey through the Lenape past to their life in the present, beginning with key historical figures like Chief Tamanend, William Penn, and the infamous Walking Purchase of 1737. View a reproduction of the Penn Treaty wampum belt and the Coaquannock “Grove of Tall Pines” map depicting Lenapehoking before Europeans arrived. Learn about the Lenape language and practice your speaking and identification skills. Understand the Forced Migration of the Lenape from their ancestral homelands and their harrowing journey to where the federally recognized Lenape nations are located today. This exhibit series also includes an extensive timeline display, situating the Lenape within the broader expanse of both ancient and more recent Native American histories.
These new exhibits further the museum’s mission to educate our region on the history of the lands we stand on today, the Indigenous ancestors who inhabited them, and the survivance of Native American peoples today. Emphasizing our partnership with Delaware Nation, this exhibit series aligns with both our missions in seeking to increase public awareness and understanding of specifically Lenape history and contemporary culture.
Women Warriors: Celebrating Native American Women
This year, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed, which established American women’s constitutional right to vote. However, this act did not guarantee the right to vote for all women, mainly just white women, due to enduring systemic racism which still frequently prevented people of color from voting. It wasn’t until after the passing of the 1965 Voter Rights Act that this really began to change.
As we reflect on this history in the present, despite the many setbacks and stresses of 2020 for the United States and the world, there is much to celebrate in light of this historic centennial. This year has been a momentous one in terms of significant victories for Native American social justice efforts. More Native Americans than ever before have been elected and re-elected to various governmental offices this November, and the Native American vote was perhaps the most powerful it has ever been in determining the outcome of the US presidential election.
The Museum of Indian Culture presents our “Women Warriors” exhibit in honor of the centennial, inviting you to specifically remember and reflect on Native American women and the significant triumphs they gained for Indian Country, America, and the world—both throughout the course of history and in the present day.
Treading Lightly around Prehistoric Digs:
1980’s Interstate-78 Southern Corridor Project - Upper Saucon
For thousands of years the Lehigh Valley was home to aboriginal populations and their predecessors the Lenni Lenape Indians. From on top of Bauer Rock (now called Big Rock Park, South Mountain) to as far as the eye could see, the Lenape lived in villages along Saucon Creek and it arbitraries.
Prior to construction of Interstate 78 southern corridor and Route 309 alignment project, Penn DOT contracted a local cultural resource firm to excavate for evidence of archaeological sites in the path of I-78, a 31 mile narrow band in southeast Pennsylvania from Fogelsville to Easton. A total of 6,669 prehistoric artifacts were recovered from Paleo-Indian times (12,000 B.C.) through the archaic to the end of the late woodland (1500 A.D.). These artifacts were turned over to the Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg.
One of the survey sites, known as P-42, located in Upper Saucon, was first discovered by local vocational archaeologist, Robert Kufrovich, in the 1970’s, after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agnes unearthed stone artifacts and pottery sherds from an ancient Lenape settlement dating 8,000 B.C. to 1,500 A.D. This ancient artifact collection of hammerstones, celts, axes, stone points, game balls, and pottery sherds were reported to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is today recognized as a key piece of evidence of Pennsylvania’s pre-history. The artifacts show how the Lenape lived and worked in our region before the land filled with housing developments and shopping centers.
The Extraordinary Story of Two Lenape Rock Shelters
This exhibit features a unique collection of over 200 stone and bone tools, pendants, decorated ceramics, and European trade goods excavated in 1942 from the Broomall Rock Shelter sites in Broomall, Pennsylvania. This assemblage was featured in a 1947 article in the prestigious archaeological journal American Antiquity, and includes a fully-reconstructed steatite bowl and numerous archaic stone points that may date to over 3,000 years ago. Visit us to learn the incredible story of the site’s discovery, context, excavation, and the artifacts’ journey to the museum.
The Great Native American Toolkit
This exhibit features prehistoric stone tools and pottery used by the ancient Mississippian (Mound Builder) cultures, Northeastern Woodland Lenape / Delaware / Iroquois, and Anasazi / Pueblo of the Southwest, and ancient bone fishing tools carved by Alaskan Natives. The Great Native American Toolkit tells the story of the creative genius of North America’s first peoples and their ability to survive and thrive using similar tools made from regional resources.
September through May
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
June through August
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$5 for adults $4 for seniors and children 12-17 Children under 12 are free
Members are free
Groups more than 10 by appointment only, please call in advance.