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:

*NEW*

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.

 
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.

 

Warrior Spirit: Journey of the Native American Warrior 

        

The Museum of Indian Culture’s newest exhibit, “Warrior Spirit:  Journey of the Native American Warrior,” honors a long tradition and largely unknown participation of native peoples in the U.S. military.  Since the Revolutionary War, Native Americans have served in every major conflict and at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group.

 

The spirit of the Native American warrior is deeply rooted in culture and tradition.  “Warrior Spirit:  Journey of the Native American Warrior” chronicles the history of native participation in the U.S. military amidst wars fought on a land that once was theirs and also abroad.  This 200-year history is told through pictures, stories of heroism, and wartime relics, including 1940’s field radios used during WWII by Navajo Code Talkers who used their once forbidden language to help save this nation.

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

Mystery Unearthed:

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.

 

KACHINAS:  Spirit Dolls of the Hopi

                          

“Kachinas: Spirit Dolls of the Hopi” features over 50 hand-carved and hand-painted wooden figures based on Hopi kachinas. Carved by George Melloy, a retired Bethlehem Steel Metallurgical Engineer, the sculptures reproduce with stunning color and historical accuracy the full round of Hopi ceremonies, including the Bean Dance ceremony and the Winter Solstice ceremony. Visit us and learn the fascinating history of Hopi kachinas and their pivotal role in Pueblo Indian cultures.

 

MUSEUM HOURS

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.

 

ADMISSION

 $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.