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#1 Aug-16-2009 09:22:am

tree hugger
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Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/all- … 0792.story

Nestled on the quiet bank of the Little Lehigh Creek in the Lehigh Parkway, the Museum of Indian Culture serves as an educational retreat from the hustle and bustle of Allentown.

The museum has two intertwining histories. The first is the history of the American Indian tribes that settled in our area. The second is that of its building, a quaint 18th century stone farmhouse.

The only American Indian museum in Pennsylvania, it features artifacts of tribes from the Northeast in one room and tribes from around the country in another. Pat Rivera, executive director, has transformed the farmhouse into a place that celebrates all Indians of the past and present.

Artifacts from the Lenni Lenape tribes, found in Delaware, jam the display cases of the North Woodland room. Aztec corn, gorgets (throat armor made from stone) and arrowheads found in the Lehigh Valley and in the Little Lehigh Creek line the walls. In another display case are Indian mannequins, dressed in traditional clothing. Across the room, a 3,000-year-old steatite (a cooking pot made from rock) and a pumice fishing bobble are highlighted in a glass case. The Inter-Tribal room rotates exhibits. On display are colorful textile items of the Plains Indians, a tribe that originated on the Great Plains of North America between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. James Jordan, an Eagle Scout candidate of Troop 31 in Chadds Ford, Delaware County, created the display as part of an outreach program.

Behind the museum, an Indian village is under construction, featuring two miniature Indian huts made from wood. Next to the huts is a Three Sisters garden, which was used by American Indians to harvest corn, squash, and beans.

Down a hill from the village is the Springhouse, a former food storage facility which is used to serve food during festivals and school tours.

The farmhouse which houses the museum was the home of the Bieber family, owners of Bieber Tourways, in the 1950s. But it fell into neglect after the Biebers moved. In 1980, Allentown agreed to lease the building to Dorothy Schiavone and her daughter Carla Messinger, Lenni Lenape descendants, for the museum. In 1990, it was restored to its original beauty with the help of donations.

Rivera hopes to continue the museum's journey for many more years. Since joining the museum in 2002, she has expanded its outreach programs to include festivals, Eagle Scout projects and food banks for displaced American Indians. The museum relies on donations .

The museum holds four festivals a year. This weekend is the 29th annual Roasting Ears of Corn Festival. ''Kids and adults will have the opportunity to throw the atlatl (Indian spear) and tomahawk,'' says Rivera.

American Indian foods, including buffalo stew, corn, and an Indian version of the corn dog will be available. Cooking demonstrations and Aztec fire dancers will be featured. Museum admission is required.

After the festival or a museum tour, you can enjoy another Allentown treasure. Stop by the Little Lehigh Trout Nursery next door, where you can feed brook, brown, rainbow, tiger and golden trouts.
Copyright 2009, The Morning Call

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#2 Sep-11-2017 10:55:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 950

Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

I was performing as a storyteller for Punxsutawney's newest festival, the Wojack Weekend (thus far, a single da event), this past Saturday and was pleased to make the acquaintance of Wesley Dunn, Vice President of this museum. He had brought a display of artifacts and cultural items to the festival.
He makes no claim to Native heritage. He noted that Carla Messenger now resides in Arizona, that she is known not to be Lenape, and that the museum has spent the last 15 years trying to clean up the reputation she had created. He also had some interesting things to say about the LNP.
Apparently, the museum may be on the right track now.


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#3 Sep-12-2017 07:06:am

tree hugger
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

That is good news! smile

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#4 Sep-12-2017 10:48:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

My brother and his girlfriend went to this Roasted Ears of Corn Festival, this year.  They enjoyed it.  I'm still avoiding the place, after my experience with PRGuy, when he attempted to discredit Jim Rementer, on the Robert Redhawk Ruth topic, a few years ago.  I haven't seen any retraction or apology for the comments he made.

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#5 Sep-12-2017 12:35:pm

sschkaak
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

Suckachsinheet wrote:  "...Punxsutawney's newest festival, the Wojack Weekend..."

IMHO, they should call this "Woodchuck Weekend."  "Wojack" is not really "the Native American term for a groundhog.  It is a badly corrupted form of a Cree or Ojibwe term.  Of course, "woodchuck" simply takes the corruption to one more level, but, at least, it's now a good English word.  As anal-retentive as I might be deemed to be, by some, I would have liked them to have used a Delaware word:  monachgeu or makiktschewa--either one meaning "groundhog--since the name of their town is a Delaware name.  Yet, I guess it might be difficult to come up with an alliterative phrase for one of these!  LOL!

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#6 Sep-12-2017 02:27:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 950

Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

I had to go back and re-read that. That turned into quite a shouting match in several places. So, PRGuy is/was associated with the museum?


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#7 Sep-12-2017 02:39:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4025
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

Suckachsinheet wrote:

I had to go back and re-read that. That turned into quite a shouting match in several places. So, PRGuy is/was associated with the museum?

PRGuy is Barry Rivera, husband of Pat Rivera, who runs that museum.  He teaches there.

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#8 Sep-12-2017 03:37:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4025
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

From the article:  "The only American Indian museum in Pennsylvania..."

I guess they've never heard of the Pocono Indian Museum in Bushkill (East Stroudsburg), Pennsylvania, which was founded four years before this one.  I've been there a couple times and they have a great display of craftwork by Touching Leaves, Jim Revey and a model of the Big House built by the late Reuben Wilson (Delaware Tribe of Indians), among other things.  They have a Facebook Page with great reviews:  https://www.facebook.com/PoconoIndianMuseum .

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#9 Sep-12-2017 11:48:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 950

Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

I have a customer who went there, but she couldn't remember much to tell me about it. She thouhgt it was a great museum, though...


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#10 Sep-13-2017 12:40:pm

tree hugger
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Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 10936

Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

sschkaak wrote:

Suckachsinheet wrote:

I had to go back and re-read that. That turned into quite a shouting match in several places. So, PRGuy is/was associated with the museum?

PRGuy is Barry Rivera, husband of Pat Rivera, who runs that museum.  He teaches there.

He and his wife were also very close friends of the infamous Sharon Nolte.

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#11 Sep-13-2017 02:03:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4025
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Re: Valley history revealed at Museum of Indian Culture

Which is what set them on the wrong path regarding Jim, Nora and the Delaware language.  Really, too bad.

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