The museums of the state of Delaware will explore the First State’s rich Native-American heritage with a series of four programs during September 2013 that shine a spotlight on the history and culture of the Lenape and Nanticoke Indian tribes.
According to Nena Todd, site supervisor for the state’s downtown Dover museums, September is a time for Native-American people to return to their homelands. Traditionally, the coming of cooler weather provided a signal for native peoples to transition from their summer hunting and fishing grounds to more secure winter lodging. This tradition of seasonal travel continues in today’s Native-American communities with September serving as a time when families come together and communities celebrate their heritage. One of Delaware’s most well-known Native-American celebrations is the annual Nanticoke Indian Pow-Wow that will take place this year on Sept. 7 and 8.
September 2013 Native-American-themed programs at the museums of the state of Delaware include the following. All programs are free and open to the public.
Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
“The Cheswold Airport Archaeological Site.” First Saturday in the First State program features archaeologist Wade Catts of John Milner and Associates discussing the Native American archeological site at the Delaware Airpark in Cheswold that dates to 7,000 B.C. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover, Del. Program at 1 p.m.Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
“The First People of the First State: A Lenape Celebration of Heritage.” Second annual celebration featuring the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware as they honor mother earth and Native-American culture with dancing and demonstrations. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover, Del. Program 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
“The First People of the First State: Three Points of View.” Elected Chief Dennis Coker of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware and archaeologists Wade Catts and Cara Blume discuss the history and recent achievements of the Lenape community of central Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover, Del. Program at 1 p.m.Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
“Nanticoke.” Lecture by Sterling Street, museum coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro, Del., on the history of the Nanticoke tribe and its museum. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the six museums of the state of Delaware—New Castle Court House Museum, John Dickinson Plantation, First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, The Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of Delaware’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.
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