Mohicans tell their tribal story in a new exhibit in the Berkshires

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. – The Stockbridge-Munsee Community has created a new exhibit on Mohican history and culture that shows the Wisconsin-based band’s strong continuing ties to their homeland that can be seen in the Mission House Museum.

The museum exhibition, which runs through Nov. 18, is the latest effort by the Mohicans to tell their story instead of letting others without the knowledge or the cultural ties miscast how the community members lived centuries ago and today.

“We’re hoping people have an opportunity to come. It’s a tribal-produced exhibit here in our homeland,” said Bonney Hartley, tribal historic preservation manager for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of the Mohican Indians, which is how the tribe is also called.

The exhibit “Our Lands, Our Home, Our Heart/Nda’keenã , Weekeyaak , Nda’anã” in the Mission House Museum provides a guide to the Mohicans’ story through the mission period in Stockbridge to their moves to central New York from their homelands along the Hudson River and to the east, the relocation to the west and the settlement in Wisconsin where they are now based.

The Mohicans worked with the Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit that preserves historic and natural sites in Massachusetts including the Mission House Museum, on putting on the exhibit.

“The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe is pleased to be working with the Mission House Museum to promote and educate the visitors of the Mission House on the Stockbridge-Munsee’s history in the Berkshires. We hope this inspires you to learn more about the tribe and what you can do to support and protect the tribe’s history,” tribal President Shannon Holsey said in a statement.

QR codes spread throughout the museum expand on the exhibit and provide more information about working with the Mohicans in a way that honors their heritage and honors their efforts to provide information about their links to their homeland which have never weakened. Information also is available at

Hartley, a Mohican tribal member, represents the tribe working from the local Tribal Historic Preservation Office at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Hartley’s efforts in telling the Mohican story and promoting the tribe’s heritage can be seen in the exhibit as well as throughout the Capital Region from the murals on Northway Exit 3’s overpass that demonstrate Mohican heritage, to reclaiming ancestors and cultural artifacts through the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act from the State Museum in Albany and at various archeological sites in New York state and Massachusetts.  It’s also seen in removing offensive geographical names from sites in the Mohican homeland.

The museum exhibit is an element in a multi-layered telling of Mohican cultural influence. Just outside the museum is a garden planted with traditional herbs and plants used by Mohicans for medicinal purposes. And the garden’s harvest can be seen in a traditional medicine cabinet on display at the Mission House property.

The interwoven threads of the modern community of Stockbridge, which is filling with tourists for the summer season, and the Mohicans who honor their ancestral homeland can be experienced in a walking tour, “Footprints of our Ancestors,” that highlights 11 locations.  At each stop, there is a story to be told about the roles of the Mohicans in dealing with the colonists and fighting in the American Revolution with the American army.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *