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Oneida Gallery Small
The Museum's Oneida Nation Gallery.

Celebration Will Include Performances by Indigenous Dancers, Wampum Belt Demonstrations, and More

Explore Native American history and culture at the Museum of the American Revolution during the Museum’s annual Indigenous Peoples Weekend celebration from Saturday, October 9 – Monday, October 11, 2021. The weekend celebration will include traditional Native American dance performances, hands-on demonstrations, and other family-friendly activities.  

On Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., a contingent of indigenous dancers sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation will perform traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) social dances on the Museum’s outdoor plaza. Performances are free and open to the public. (Please note: These performances will be moved indoors in the event of rain, but will still be free to the public.)

On Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (UPDATE: The Sunday demonstration has been cancelled), craftsman Richard David Hamell will present a display of replica wampum belts and discuss their history and importance to native communities as tools of diplomacy and culture. Hamell will demonstrate for visitors how to create reproduction wampum belts using acrylic clay wampum beads.

Oneida Dancers 5
Dancers sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Other Indigenous Peoples Weekend activities include:

  • Discovery Cart: Two Kettles Together | Onsite, Daily from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Join a Museum educator at a discovery cart featuring replica artifacts and documents to learn about Tyonajanegen (“Two Kettles Together”), an Oneida woman who fought alongside her husband in the violent Battle of Oriskany during the 1777 Saratoga Campaign.
  • Pop-Up Talks: Louis Cook | Onsite, Daily
    Learn about Akiatonharonkwen, also known as Louis Cook, who was one of the highest-ranking Native American officers in the Continental forces during the Revolutionary War. Born to an African American father and Abenaki Indian mother, Akiatonharonkwen fought in the French and Indian War (1754-1763) as a young man. Discover the path he chose in the Revolutionary War as British and Revolutionary leaders courted him as an ally.
  • Oneida Nation Gallery | Onsite, Daily
    In the Museum’s core exhibition, visitors can explore an immersive multimedia gallery that recreates the Oneida Indian Nation’s debate over whether to break away from the Six Nations Confederacy to support the Revolutionary cause. Listen as recreated figures representing Oneida men and women discuss the difficult choices they faced.
  • Film Screening: The People of the Standing Stone | Onsite, Daily at 3:30 p.m.
    The People of the Standing Stone
    explores the crucial but little-known history of the extraordinary contributions of one Native American people who chose to commit themselves to the Revolutionary cause when nearly all others fought on the side of the British during America’s War for Independence. The moving 25-minute film was directed by Emmy Award-winning director Ric Burns and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner.
  • The People Between: Native Americans in a Revolutionary Era Gallery Guide |
    Onsite &
    Online Anytime
    More than 250,000 Native Americans lived east of the Mississippi River during the Revolutionary era. They formed more than 80 nations and spoke dozens of languages. The decades of political turmoil and warfare that divided Great Britain and its colonies and led to the creation of the United States profoundly affected native people. This printed gallery guide can be used to explore their stories throughout the Museum and with the Museum’s Virtual Tour.
  • Make Your Own Wampum Belt Craft | Online, Anytime
    This craft activity, developed in consultation with partners in the Native American community, offers the chance to learn more about the meanings behind wampum belt designs created with wampum beads – purple and white beads made from seashells or (later) glass. Make your own at home anytime!

The Oneida Nation dance performances are free and open to the public. All other Indigenous Peoples Weekend activities are included with regular Museum admission. Tickets to the Museum can be purchased by calling 215.253.6731, at amrevmuseum.org, or at the front desk. The Museum is currently open to the public daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with enhanced health and safety protocols. Masks are required for all visitors ages 5 and up.

About Richard David Hamell
Richard David Hamell is a geologist-paleontologist with over 35 years of teaching experience in geology at Monroe Community College. After nearly four decades in higher education, he retired to pursue his interest in the history and creation of reproduction wampum belts. Through considerable research and vital assistance from native communities, he has completed more than 115 reproduction wampum belts, which may be the largest collection of its kind. This collection is available for programming across the United States and abroad. Hamell also serves as a docent at the Seneca Art and Cultural Center at Ganondagan State Historic Site in New York and as a member of the board. He is also an active participant in Ganondagan’s White Corn Project.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.