Monday, May 18, 2015

Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center


Name: Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center
Tribe: Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Location: 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT, 06338
Type: Museum, Research Library/Archive
Visiting Info: Opening for the season May 15 (through Nov), Wed-Sat 9am-5pm, Admission $12-$20
Contact: Website, telephone (800) 411-9671

After a five-month hiatus for refurbishment under a new director, the Pequot Museum is open again as of May 15, 2015. The museum is hoping to attract greater attention and more visitors with new programs and partnerships with artists.

In the Farmstead area outside, a group of Wampanoag canoe-builders is working on a 36-foot mish8n ("mishoon," the Wampanoag word for canoe), which will be the longest canoe built in New England in the last 200 years when it is completed in June 2015. Visitors can also see a 400-year-old dugout canoe on display inside the museum's exhibits hall.

The Pequot Café is open with a new menu featuring indigenous selections made from local ingredients sourced when possible from Native vendors.

The museum is also offering free work studio space for local Native artists who would like to become Artists in Residence. (For more information contact:, 860-396-6960)

And of course, there is still the original 85,000 square feet of permanent, indoor exhibits, including the Pequot Village, a recreation of a 16th Century Pequot settlement before and after contact with Europeans. The movie theater shows The Witness, a 30-minute film about the attack of the Mystic fort by colonists. The "Life on the Reservation," "The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Today," and the "Portrait Gallery" areas discuss life for Pequot citizens in Connecticut today and the state of the Tribe since they secured federal recognition in 1983.

On the museum grounds, a 185-foot glass tower provides a view across the surrounding tribal land. There are walking and hiking trails and a self-guided tour through the 1780's-era Pequot Farmstead that discusses traditional tribal foods and medicines growing in the gardens.

Additionally, the Research Center includes collections, a library, a children's library, archives, and archaeology and conservation laboratories.

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