The Washington County Museum has recently updated “This Kalapuya Land,” a permanent exhibit about the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya. The exhibit features new authentic artifacts and highlights the lives of the Kalapuya, the indigenous people that come from the Tualatin Valley.
In conjunction with the Kalapuya exhibit, Washington County Museum will celebrate National Native American Day with a Free Family Morning on Saturday, May 12, featuring story teller Ed Edmo. Edmo, a Native American with Shoshone-Bannock-Nez Perce tribal affiliation, is an acclaimed poet, performer, traditional storyteller and lecturer on Northwest tribal culture.
The Kalapuya exhibit has been updated with the expertise and guidance of Stephanie Craig, a member of The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Craig is a 7th generation basket weaver and is Santiam and Yoncalla Kalapuya, Umpqua, Takelma Rogue River, Clackamas Chinook and Iroquois.
Craig’s experience has been invaluable in making the exhibit more specific to the Tualatin Valley and serves as a reminder that Native American history is still in the making. Craig says the Kalapuya exhibit “shows that we are still here, in the present. We aren’t all gone, a dead or lost culture, past tense. We are still here, we still speak our language, we still eat traditional foods, hunt and fish for our way of life [and] we practice and pass on our traditions daily.”
The museum has added a variety of Kalapuyan baskets dating from the late 1850s. Featured in the display is a bridal headdress loaned to the museum by Stephanie Craig, made in the Chinookian style by Tamera Moody of the Warm Springs tribe. The headdress was made of dentalium shells and decorated with red, yellow and blue beads, Chinese coins and mother of pearl.
Museum curator Liza Schade said, “It is crucial to museums today to have an expertly identified collection of local Native American artifacts. We have worked with local tribal members to showcase items that represent the area. It’s important to maintain a respectful relationship with local tribes and to spread awareness that they are still living in the Tualatin Valley and practicing tribal traditions today.”
The Free Family Morning to celebrate National Native American Day will be Saturday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The program will feature crafts and hands-on activities, such as making corn husk dolls, as well as Native American storytelling hosted by Ed Edmo.
For more information about “This Kalapuya Land,” visit http://www.washingtoncountymuseum.org/home/exhibits/kalapuya/.
About the Washington County Museum
For more than 50 years, the Washington County Museum has provided community members and visitors an opportunity to experience and understand the richness of our history, heritage and culture. The Washington County Museum on the Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on the second Saturday of every month. There is no admission fee though visitors are encouraged to leave a donation.