Wednesday, March 24, 2010
When I finally found the Oneida Stone, that ancient stone of the Iroquois Oneida Indian tribe, my gracious hosts at the Shako:wi Cultural Center allowed me to snap a few photos of the museum artifacts.
The museum is wonderful-- it's beautifully built, and is crammed with Oneida history, artifacts, reproductions, and art. It's free to enter. I highly recommend the museum; it's located on Route 46, south of Oneida, NY (see my map).
The entire building was handmade of white oak, without nails or screws.
The stained glass window on the second floor is lovely. The three animals-- bear, wolf, turtle-- are the tribes within the Oneida Indian nation tribe of the larger Iroquois Five Nations.
I've written extensively about the Oneida Nation and their important alliance with us during the American Revolution. You can read more about it here and here.
This was one of my favorite displays in the museum. It shows the Iroquois kastowa-- the unique headdresses of each of the nations of the Iroquois League. Eagles feathers were positioned uniquely on leather caps, for each tribe.
The Oneidas exhibited much of their beautiful beadwork and instruments from natural materials.
The tambourines are made from deer hooves; the rattle in the back is of a turtle shell.
Baskets. After the Revolution, many Oneidas became basket weavers and servants to the rich white people who settled here. We had visited the Higanbotham home in Oneida village, where Catherine Skenandoah Burnings, a descendant of the great Chief Skenandoah.
There were a few displays like this-- very nice! According to historical records, the Oneidas, like many Northeastern Indians, were large in body size-- very wide, muscular, and tall; even the women were very large. So natural diet pills for women would have been unheard of for these tough gals!
These are but a few of the terrific things we saw. I recommend that you see the museum for yourself!