The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum is dedicated to sharing Native American history and culture, past and present, with all who come through its doors. In addition to displaying its collection and maintaining a lending library, the museum holds Powwows and runs educational and special programs. Peter Newell is chief of the New Hampshire Intertribal Native American Council.
Peter: You go to most Indian museums throughout the country and they favor the Western Plains Indians, but this one here is really particular to this area and that’s the nice thing. Everybody has a vision in their head of what Indians look like - or should look like. A lot of people don’t understand that the Eastern Indians were a lot different than the Western Indians. Their traditions were a little bit different. Their clothing was a lot different. Out west, a lot of everything depended on the eagle and the buffalo, whereas when you get back to the Eastern you’re talking about turkeys, deer and that type of thing for subsistence.
Unfortunately, the Eastern Indians lost their traditions way, way, way early. They were wiped out. The sicknesses wiped a lot of them out and the Indian nations disappeared from the east coast very, very quickly, so a lot of the traditions disappeared. But now, with a place like this, we can start to get some of our traditions back. People can come here and see what the original traditions were. A place like this will help bring the truth to the people.