The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum is located on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. Visit the museum for a great insight into the traditions and ways of life of the local Shinnecock and watch demonstrations of their artisan and artistic skills and techniques.
The reservation is home to about half of the remaining 1,300 Shinnecock Indians on Long Island.
Upon arrival, admire the sturdy log cabin that houses the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum. Imagine the work that must have gone into building the cabin and the large, wooden canoe in front of it. Note the skilfully carved image of a buck on the front door before you push the door handle made of deer antlers to make your way inside.
See the life-size Shinnecock wigwam, ancient arrowheads and animal skins and drums among other relics. Discover the rich heritage of the Shinnecock people by browsing the Walk With The People exhibition. The journey traces 10,000 years of Shinnecock history and customs. Displays include rare artifacts and striking hand-painted panels depicting historic scenes. Known for their whaling history on the East End, the Shinnecock also display their whalers harpoons and whale vertebrae.
Head outside to the Wikun Living History Village area. This interactive homesite represents life from 1640 to 1750. Watch the demonstrations by Native Interpreters to get a better understanding of the Shinnecock culture. Learn about their ways of hunting and fishing and see how they made pots and pans. “Wikun" is Shinnecock for “Good” and the area is also used to pass the ancient skills on to the new Shinnecock generations.
The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum is about 6 miles (10 kilometres) to the west of Southampton along on the Montauk Highway. An entrance fee applies, but parking on site is free. The museum is open Thursday through to Sunday. With opening times and dates reduced during winter and inclement weather, it is recommended to check the museum’s website before visiting.
Also check the museum’s calendar to catch one of the seasonal festivals, workshops, fun activities and educational events.