Morrill Hall Exhibit Seeks to Expand Understanding of Native American Culture Through Everyday Items

Dec. 1, 2020, 3:11 p.m. ·

Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska State Museum

The “Diverse Nations” exhibit is part of the museum’s efforts to recognize Native American Heritage Month, which occurs in November. The exhibit was created after concerns over the pandemic triggered the cancellation of the museum’s annual Hubbard lecture series, which would normally feature a Native American speaker.

Susan Weller is Director of the museum and told NET News that throughout the exhibit, visitors can view objects and materials from 37 tribal nations spanning from the age of the first colonists to modern times.

Items on display, which Weller said had never been shown before, include pieces of Ivory, bead work made with porcupine quills, and deer-hide moccasins.

Weller said the organizers of the exhibit wanted to “represent the diversity through the objects that were important to them in their daily lives,” and connect those objects to the places they lived.

“My hope is that by having a display like ‘Diverse Nations,’ we can help people understand the breadth and diversity-and that the people are still with us,” Weller said. “It’s not in the past, they didn’t cease to exist.”

With the pandemic surging again in the state, she acknowledges the exhibit didn’t go up in the busiest of times but is committed to eventually bringing back the exhibit along with other programs the museum puts on to celebrate the month.

“I really feel like this is something we should do annually,” Weller said.

“Diverse Nations” can be found on the third floor of Morrill Hall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln until January 3rd of next year.