Permanent Exhibitions

Menominee Clans Story coming to the Museum

New exhibit coming in fall 2019

A small gallery on the second floor of the Museum, formerly known as the Winnebago Room, is temporarily closed as staff transforms this space into an appropriate setting to accommodate a new long-term exhibit.

Last summer, the Museum was honored when asked if we might become the holder of the Menominee Clans Story exhibit after it is removed from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Museum of Natural History. The exhibit displays wood figures carved by Menominee traditional artist James Frechette Jr. (1930-2006).

Known by the Menominee as The Little Menominee, the intricately carved and painted figures stand between twelve and twenty inches high. Through an indigenous art form of the tribe, Mr. Frechette faithfully captured the cultural dimensions of the ancient clan system depicting dress, symbols, tools, colors, traditions, and many details of the Menominee way of life.

To the Menominee, the clan figures are alive and able to see and feel. “Each figure and its associated implements were done with authenticity and imbued with meaning and spiritual power," said Museum Director Brad Larson. "Once completed this spring, visitors will not only admire the beauty and spirituality of the figures, but they will also learn about their responsibility to the Menominee people and the natural world they are intimately tied to.”

Soon the clan figures will gather on a representation of the rocks that line the Wolf River. The Museum is not only charged with the important duty of preserving history for future generations, but also with passing on stories and cultural appreciation. The Menominee Clans project spans and connects across generations, as well as connecting Native and non-Native cultures.