Celebrate Native American History Month
Honor the traditions and contributions of Native Americans this November at local museums during Native American Heritage Month.
The Penn Museum
The Penn Museum in Philadelphia features three exhibits to familiarize visitors with the history of some of the first Americans. The North America Gallery focuses on four peoples of the North American Southwest: Hopi, Zuni, Navajo and Apache. Explore clothing, cooking utensils and methods, jewelry, ceramics, pottery, basketry, games and dolls. The Mexico and Central America Gallery includes objects that are 2,500 years old. The exhibit explores the differences and similarities between present-day culture and the people of the region – Mesoamerica – many centuries ago. The MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibit features artifacts from major Mayan cities, interactive displays, Mayan calendar explanations and information and history about the 2012 end-of-the-world predictions. Kids can follow clues and complete puzzles using a special guide. Admission is $8-$12 per person, ages 5 and younger are free.
At the Second Sunday Workshop on Nov. 11, kids can learn about and make their own Native American dreamcatchers.
The New Jersey State Museum
Head to the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton to see exhibits including New Jersey’s Original People: Interpreting the Archaeological Collection, which explores the ways that New Jersey’s native people, the Lenni Lenape, adapted to the changing climate. Cultures in Competition: Indians & Europeans in Colonial New Jersey explores the interactions between Native Americans and Europeans in the New Jersey area during the 17th century. A Much Moved People: Preserving Traditions of the Delaware Indians delves into the lives of Native Americans in present-day Delaware between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Admission is free.
Visit on Sat., Nov. 17 for Lenape Indian-related activities, stories and crafts.
The Nanticoke Indian Museum
Visit the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro, DE to see displays of homemade tools and weapons such as arrowheads and axe hammers, pottery, traditional clothing, a wooden canoe and other artifacts that are dated as far back as 8,000 B.C. Visitors can also view artwork made by current tribe members. Admission is $1-$3 per person.
On Sat., Nov. 17, visit the museum for Heritage Day, featuring food, dancing, storytelling, face painting and crafts. Admission is free.
Leah Mafrica is calendar editor of MetroKids.