The Iroquois Indian Museum is located in Howe’s cave, NY, just down the road from the world famous Howe Caverns. Near Cobleskill, NY, the short trip s about a half hour from Albany. The Museum is an anthropological museum that uses art to educate and inspire. The collections of contemporary Iroquois art and archaeological artifacts open a window on Iroquois culture and society.
The educational program fulfills the NYS Learning Standards for the Arts, Social Studies, and Language Arts. It is a wonderful resource for all school students, especially homeschooled learners. The Museum provides a stimulating object-based learning environment that engages visitors on visual, tactile, and intellectual levels. Some of its features include:
• A modern museum designed in the shape of a longhouse, as a teaching device.
• The largest public collection of contemporary Iroquois arts in the world.
• An archeological collection of Schoharie County artifacts.
• A 45-acre Nature Park with marked trails.
• Interactive hands-on Children’s Iroquois Museum.
• Outdoor Picnic area.
• Two Iroquois log houses, circa 1850.
• Museum Gift Shop.
If a group trip is planned you will need to call ahead to book your group visit. Reservations are accepted on a first-come/first-served basis, with many groups booking months in advance. You should plan on a 90 minute visit with 30 minutes for lunch.
After the scheduled program, students and their chaperones then have a chance to explore the Nature Park, and to visit the Museum Shop.
Prices include admission and all supplies. For every 10 students, there is one free adult admission. All other adults are charged a reduced admission fee of $5. Some fees may be reimbursable through BOCES or other programs.
There is an additional Independent Exploration program available for a fee of $4 per student. On arrival, each student is given a 16 page full color Independent Exploration booklet and allowed to view the Museum’s exhibits. The booklet includes short descriptions of major topics important to learning about Iroquois culture, history and prehistory.
As students tour the Museum the booklet helps to guide them in what types of things to look for and in understanding these topics. The booklet also contains activities geared towards reinforcing what they are viewing during their visit. This take-home booklet will assist teachers and students during follow-up discussions back in their classrooms. Knowledgeable Museum Staff will be available to answer questions.
Topics for this program include:
Archaeology: Showing how the domestication of corn changed the lives of Native Americans. Demystifying the tools used on a daily basis before European contact. Comparing and contrasting the changes that occurred in Iroquois life with the arrival of Europeans and their goods.
History: Who are the six Iroquois nations? How and why did those six separate nations join together to create the Iroquois Confederacy? What was the role of clans in Iroquois families? What were the roles of men, women, and children in early Iroquois society? What part did the Natural World play in the daily life of Iroquois?
Today’s Iroquois: What traditional values are still important to Iroquois today? What contemporary issues effect Iroquois people today – Land issues, pollution, stereotypes, maintaining a distinctive Native identity in today’s world?
Weather permitting, students can take a self-guided trail walk through the 45 acre Nature Park. Trail maps are available in the Museum. A number of trees are identified on the trail and on the reverse of the Map.
The Iroquois Museum is pleased to make available to the public our education kit. The kit is designed to help educators better teach their students about Iroquois culture, history, and art. It can be used to prepare students for a fieldtrip to the Iroquois Museum, but can also be utilized as a stand-alone resource for teachers unable to bring their students to the Museum. Click here for more information.
The museum is open from May 1 through November 30: Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 noon – 5 p.m. It is closed on Monday and Thanksgiving Day.
Click here for a list of New York Learning Standards covered by the museum’s programs. For more information, and to find out about special events, visit the museum’s website, email, or call (518) 296-8949.
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