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The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum showcases both permanent and temporary exhibits that introduce visitors to the culture and history of the Onöndowa'ga:' and Hodinöhsö:ni'. Whether exploring on your own, or in a more formal tour, we hope that your time spent with us will spark an interest to learn more.  Have questions? Please ask one of our Museum Interpreters. Or, email us at dave.shongo@sni.org  and one of our staff will be happy to respond.

We Play Lacrosse Exhibit

East Gallery

Lacrosse is a big part of Hodinöhsö:ni' life and connects all of us from community to community and from generation to generation.  Specific cultural objects, photographs, archival records, interviews, and contemporary art works have been used to present the history of lacrosse as it relates to our communities. 

Snowsnake is featured in this exhibit. 

Permanent Exhibits:

An updated improved upon - This Is Where We Walked Exhibit

West Gallery: Permanent Exhibit

Onöndowa'ga:' surviving the loss of land and homes from Cornplanter Grant to Vandalia, NY…

This exhibit provides information on how the United State destroyed Ohi:yo’ communities with the creation of the Kinzua Dam in the 1960s. When the Federal government approved the construction of this dam, it broke one of its oldest treaties:  the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794.

Here you will catch of glimpse of the people who lost their homes, land, sense of community, and lifestyle; see how the Seneca Nation of Indians fought hard to stop the construction; and learn  what community members did to survive the devastation.

Degëöda:dö [day-gehn-onh-daw-donh!] (Log Cabin)

Log Cabin Room : Permanent Exhibit

By the mid-1700s, many Hodinöhsö:ni' were no longer living in ganöhse:s, but in log cabins (degëöda:dö) that were similar to the ones the British military or American settlers in New York and Pennsylvania colonies used. Here you will see how the Onöndowa'ga:' adapted this type of living without losing their traditional values. How did life change? How did it stay the same? Visitors will also see the first car seat, Hodinöhsö:ni'-style.

Ganöhse:s (Longhouse) Exhibit

Longhouse Room: Permanent Exhibit

Daily life in a longhouse...

Today the Hodinöhsö:ni' are still called "People of the Longhouse".  Our partially reconstructed ganöhse:s introduces you to what it was like to live in that type of home.  Where did you sleep?  Who lived with you?  How did you keep warm in the harsh winters?  What did women do in this type of community?  The men?

Here you will learn about the Great Law, the oldest, enduring democracy in the world, which the longhouse still symbolizes today.  After the American Revolution, the new U. S. government respected the Hodinöhsö:ni' strength and power enough to establish a lasting peace and friendship with them (Canandaigua Treaty of 1794).

And how do the Onöndowa'ga:' fit into that tradition?  Find out why they are called "The Keepers of the Western Door" and learn about their traditional origin at Bare Hill at Canandaigua Lake.


Ganönyök - Giving thanks

Central Gallery: Permanent Exhibit

We give thanks for everything we have and need to survive on Earth. With this in our minds, we give thanks to the birds and animals. The passenger pigeons are the first addition to this exhibit. Currently there are community projects where members are making medicinal plants and other elements we give thanks to. The next installment will be strawberries, stay tuned and check in to see the progress.   

The clans are also featured in this exhibit. Ga'säde:ngö (clans) are an essential and lasting component of Hodinöhsö:ni' culture. Why?

Visitors will learn about the 8 animals and birds that represent the Onöndowa'ga:' clans, as well as why the clan system is so important, not only as a connection to our past, but also to our future.