Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation said they will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 9 for the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum’s new Wikun Living History Village, which will be an interactive part of the museum that re-creates a 17th to 18th century Shinnecock village.
At Tuesday’s Southampton Village Board meeting, Museum Director David Bunn Martine and Andrea Godoy, who manages public relations for the museum, presented their plans for Wikun Village and said they are launching a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to support it. They said the Administration for Native Americans, a department of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded the museum a $700,000 grant over two years to start up the village.
The village has been on the drawing board since 2001, when the museum opened its doors, and was planned as a second phase to the museum. The museum staff is excited that it’s finally coming to fruition.
“We’ll be able to tell our own story from our own point of view and we’ll be able to let young people experience hands-on the culture through song and dance and story-telling,” Ms. Godoy said.
Visitors will watch and take part in demonstrations on everything Shinnecock from how to make a canoe to basket weaving, making pottery and cooking traditional meals. Tribal members will be dressed in period-correct clothing.
Ms. Godoy said their model is the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which shows the original settlement of the colony established in the 17th century by English colonists. The Shinnecock Museum has been working closely with members of the Wampanoag tribe, another Algonquin people, to re-create and learn traditional skills.
The ribbon-cutting will be held on Thursday, May 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free preview week will be held from Wednesday, May 15, to Monday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The village’s grand opening will be held from Saturday, May 25, to Monday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
Admission starts at $15 for students and seniors and $35 for adults. For more information, visit www.shinnecockmuseum.com.