Wake Forest anthropology museum opens "Treasures from a Moravian Attic"

By Pam Barrett
January 6, 2006

Wake Forest University's Museum of Anthropology will open its new exhibit "Treasures from a Moravian Attic: Native American Objects from the Wachovia Historical Society Collection" on Jan. 17. The exhibit will run until May 13.

Last year, the Wachovia Historical Society and the Missionary Society of the Moravian Church South, Inc. donated more than 20,000 Native American archaeological and ethnographic objects to the museum.

In celebration of this donation, the museum and the Guilford Native American Art Gallery created the exhibit, which features the stories and exceptional objects of several 19th and 20th century explorers, archaeologists and Moravian collectors. The exhibit was first displayed at the Guilford Native American Art Gallery.

The title "Treasures from a Moravian Attic" refers to the discovery of these lost heirlooms and their connection to the upper floor of a building in Old Salem where the collection was stored before it was loaned to the anthropology museum in 1983.

In conjunction with the exhibit, two lectures and a family event will also be held.

On Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. , Tom Whyte, professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University will give a lecture and presentation on Native Americans of Appalachia over the last 4000 years. He will present evidence on how the Indians lived in the region as early as 2000 B.C., how they distinguished themselves from other native peoples of eastern North America, and how this separation led to the development of Cherokee Indian cultures in western North Carolina. Admission is free.

Kenneth Robinson, director of public archaeology at Wake Forest, will give a free lecture on Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. titled "Native American Developments in the Yadkin-Pee Dee Valley of North Carolina." He will discuss how Native American cultures, including the historic tribes Sara, Keyauwee, Uwharrie and others who died out shortly before Europeans arrived, have developed in the region over the past 15,000 years.

On March 25, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. , the Wake Forest Anthropology Club will host a Native American Family Day. The free event will feature Native American stories, craft activities, music and food.

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Museum admission is free.

For more information about the museum, the exhibit or any of the events, call (336)758-5282.