The staff at the Funk Heritage Center invites you to honor Native American Heritage Month by visiting the Heritage Center in November.
Visit anytime during November to see a special mini exhibit of Native American Masks from the Pacific Northwest. “We’ve had these beautiful masks in storage,” said Riki Welch, programs and education coordinator, “but to our knowledge, they’ve never been on display here. We decided it was time to bring them out of storage for our guests to see.”
“The masks are ceremonial masks from the Pacific Northwest coast,” Welch continued. “They are made of cedar, animal fur, and bone and generally use 4 main colors- black, blue, red, and white. Some of these masks reflect the importance of the raven and shamans in Pacific Northwest Indian culture. Masks tend to tell family and tribal histories, represent totems, or were used during hunting ceremonies.”
The masks will be on display throughout November, so be sure to stop by to see them before they head back into storage.
On Nov. 6, the Heritage Center celebrates Native American Heritage Day from noon to 4:00 p.m.
“On Native American Heritage Day, we invite the Reinhardt community and the public to join us for a special program. We have two special guests lined up– Alice Taylor-Colbert and Edwin Countryman,” said Jeff Bishop, director of the Funk Heritage Center.
At 1:00 p.m., Taylor-Colbert will give a lecture on “Living between the Two Cultures: The Story of the Ridge Family.” Taylor-Colbert is a public historian with the South Carolina Humanities Council. She holds a Master of Arts and a doctorate in American Studies from Emory University.
Throughout the afternoon, guests can view artifacts and family heirlooms from Countryman. Countryman is familiar to many Heritage Center guests from events such as History Alive. Each of the items he brings, ranging from baskets and pottery to handmade regalia and jewelry has a story, and Countryman can tell you about each item. Many of the items have been passed down through Countryman’s family or through tribal traditions. Items are primarily representative of the Cherokee, but some items come from other tribes such as Sauk, Sioux and Crow. “Those who have passed before us have left a legacy,” said Countryman. “Because I have been so blessed to have these items, I feel like it is my duty to share them. It’s sad that so much is lost to history but being able to share these items at schools and events such as this helps the stories continue to live.”
The Funk Heritage Center is open Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. General admission is $7. Admission for Reinhardt University students, alumni, faculty and staff is free. Native American Heritage Day programming is included in general admission. Learn more at https://www.reinhardt.edu/funkheritage/.