Museum of Indian Culture – Allentown, PA

The Museum of Indian Culture is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to presenting, preserving, and perpetrating the history and cultural heritage of the Northeastern Woodland Indians and other American Indian tribes. It accomplishes this mission through educational exhibits, cultural heritage programs, a comprehensive resource center, and special events.

For the past 30 years, the Museum of Indian Culture has provided regionally-unique cultural heritage programs, exhibits, and events that have been attended by almost 300,000 visitors, including over 40,000 school children. The interactive exhibit galleries feature Native American basketry, beadwork, clothing, prehistoric stone tools and pottery, instruments, carvings of kachina designs, artwork, and much more.

All visitors receive guided tours from knowledgeable tour guides. Weather-permitting, visitors can even try their hand at spear-throwing using an “atlatl” (spear-thrower) at our scenic location in an 18th-century stone farmhouse in the Lehigh Parkway. The museum’s headquarters also includes the Commonwealth’s largest Native American-centered book and video research library with information on Native cooking, crafts, archaeology, modern tribal issues, treaties, and the many Native cultures that still exist throughout the country.

Each year, our educators visit more than 150 schools and businesses sharing the culture of our country’s First Nations through our off-site programs. These programs are available for all age and interest groups. Our craft workshops teach visitors the techniques of quillwork, beadwork, primitive pottery-making, and Sweetgrass basketry.

The special events are also regional favorites. Thousands of people attend the annual Roasting Ears of Corn festival on the museum’s grounds in August and are pleased to find not only Native people in traditional clothing and authentic Native American drumming, but primitive technologies including flint knapping, fire starting, artifact displays, a teaching tipi, and Native cookery. Vendors selling authentic, hand-made Native American crafts and foods like Indian tacos, fry bread, and buffalo products also delight visitors at this family-friendly event.

In 2010, the Museum of Indian Culture hosted its first annual Artifest, a multi-cultural fine arts and crafts festival. Artifest celebrates community by allowing the public to interact with artists and tradition-bearers from diverse cultural groups, including featured live music and dance performances. The Artifest marketplace includes cultural artisan demonstrations and exhibits and a children’s hands-on craft area.

The museum also hosts Fright Night at the Museum, an annual event that has become a community favorite since its inception in 2007. Every October, children and adults alike hear spooky ancient stories from Native American storytellers from various tribes. Past storytellers came from the Kiowa Tribe in Oklahoma and the Six Nations Reserve in Canada.

Finally, in November, many children’s youth organizations, home school groups, and college students visit the Museum of Indian Culture to celebrate Native American month during the annual Open House Event. This is an important event for the Museum to showcase the various talented American Indian educators and associate expert crafters. The Open House not only takes place within the museum, but also on the grounds, including its recently renovated spring house. This is a large, diverse event that also includes a featured storyteller, Native American food, and various outdoor activities.

The museum is one of the most unique assets in the greater Lehigh Valley. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has called it a “remarkable institution that offers rich and diverse programs, a host of activities, and resources for learning that reflect the best tradition of museum educational efforts…on a shoestring budget, with massive amounts of volunteer effort.”

Please feel free to contact them:
Museum of Indian Culture
2825 Fish Hatchery Road
Allentown, PA 18103

Hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12-4 PM.