For centuries, Native Americans inhabited the Nashaway Valley, hunting and gathering in its woods and fishing in the river. Across the valley on Mt. Wachusett, Algonquin Chief King Philip summoned other Algonquin chiefs to form a confederation against the encroaching English colonists. When you visit, you will see King Phillip's War Club and learn more about King Phillip's War which took place in southern New England in 1676.
The Native American Gallery contains two exhibits inside the building, and a longhouse, dugout canoe and three sisters garden outside the building.
One Thousand Generations
This exhibit tells the history of Native Americans in southern New England. Developed with generous support of the Wampanoag and Nipmuck communities of Massachusetts. The display of the ancient past tries to blend the view an archaeologist has of the past 10,000 years with the way some Native people think about the past. Other exhibit sections describe the effects of colonization on Natives in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries: epidemics killed thousands, broken treaties led them to distrust the settlers, and forced enculturation like John Eliot’s ‘praying towns’ tore them away from their traditional beliefs and homelands.
Objects and Meaning: Multiple Perspectives on Native American Art and Culture
Do objects hold meaning, or does the meaning only lie in the interpretation of the observer?
This exhibit was designed as a collaborative interpretive effort to present Native American culture for several points of view: the Native perspective, the art dealer and the anthropologist. Filled with ethnographic materials from all across North America, the exhibit is organized into three regional cultural areas: Plains, Southwest, and Northwest Coast.