Menominee Clans Story coming to the Museum
New exhibit to replace former Winnebago Room
A small gallery on the second floor of the Museum, referred to as the Winnebago Room, was installed in the late 1990s and featured an eclectic array of artifacts, including Native American tools, pioneer firearms, firefighting paraphernalia and military uniforms. This gallery is temporarily closed as staff transforms this space into an appropriate setting to accommodate a new exhibit.
This past summer, the Museum was honored when asked if we might become the holder of the Menominee Clans Story exhibit, currently at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Museum of Natural History. Menominee artist James Frechette Jr. (1930-2006) created the clan figures in the 1980s and 1990s. Each figure and its associated implements were meticulously hand carved from white pine and other woods, and then carefully painted.
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.