July 17, 2008

New York's Native gems

Five Native American treasures within driving distanceRevolutionary Oneida

Located on Oneida Nation lands just east of Syracuse (and a few miles away from the Turning Stone resort, known for its exceptional golf and spa) Shako:wi is a window into the culture and history of the Oneida people. Housed in an impressive, handcrafted, white pine log building, Shako:wi is filled with artifacts and stories, but is much more than just a static display of the past.

Seneca Inspirations

Southeast of Rochester lies Ganondagan, once a flourishing center for the Seneca people. Here you can tour a full-size replica of a 17th-century Seneca Bark Longhouse, walk miles of self-guided trails, climb the mesa where a huge palisaded granary stored hundreds of thousands of bushels of corn and learn about the destruction of Ganondagan, or Town of Peace, in 1687.

Iroquois Arts

The Iroquois Indian Museum building is a work of art in itself, designed in the shape and spirit of the old longhouses that once graced the valleys of upstate New York.

Exhibits of both traditional and experimental Iroquois arts, historical and archeological collections, an interactive children's museum, as well as 45-acres of hiking trails and park land are all a part of the museum.

More than Baseball

Historic Cooperstown, in Otsego County, may be best known for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but the Fenimore Art Museum, named after the celebrated "Last of the Mohicans" author, James Fenimore Cooper and renowned for its collection of American Indian art, should be on every travelers agenda.

Native NYC

Of course if you want to stay a bit closer to home, take the subway up to Inwood Hill Park--the last natural forest in the city--and check out the monument at the southwest corner of the ball field at 214th Street that marks the spot where Peter Minuit bought Manhattan for $24 worth of trinkets. Or head in the opposite direction to Bowling Green and the Old Customs House.
Comment:  Of these places, I've been only to the Old Customs House (below) in New York City.

I didn't realize Cooperstown was named for James Fenimore Cooper. How about that?

For more on the subject, see NYC Museums Showcase Indians.

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