November 07, 2009

Lenape exhibit at Ellis Island

Lenape exhibit opens at Ellis Island museum

By David M. OestreicherOn November 2, New York First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson presented a proclamation from Governor David A. Paterson to honor the Native people of New York during the opening ceremony of Lenape: Ellis Island’s First Inhabitants at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The opening, sponsored by the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial (HFCQ) and hosted by acclaimed Lenape scholar David M. Oestreicher, curator of the exhibition, includes six galleries housing a stunning collection of prehistoric artifacts, traditional crafts, ceremonial objects, antique books, maps, archival photographs, dioramas, and sculptures. This collection is brought to life with the oral histories of Lenape tribal members, both past and present. The exhibit tells the story of the ancient life ways and history of the people who greeted Henry Hudson 400 years ago from their earliest beginnings until the 21st century. It chronicles the dispersion of the Lenape from their traditional homeland here in the East, and their emigration across the continent to enclaves in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario. The exhibition is in many ways a homecoming for the Lenape people.Comment:  For more on the subject, see Hudson Websites Omit Indians and How Mannahatta Became Manhattan.

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