Visited the Huronia Museum and Ouendat Village this weekend with my family, and we loved it.
The museum itself was a typical small museum, with exhibits on the history of the area, focussing on some of the marine disasters and the early settlers of the region, but the highlight of the museum is the reconstructed Wendat village
The village consists of a European style palisade, with a field of 3 Sisters grown in clusters outside. Inside, there is a tobacco field, pole stacks, drying racks, a sweat lodge, a longhouse, storage pots, gourds, stretched furs, tree trunk mortar and pestles, games, canoes, and things I’ve completely forgotten.
It was the most effective display of Iroquois lifestyle I have ever seen!
It wasn’t just me though, my husband and kids loved it, and said they had never learned so much from a museum.
Why was it so educational, why did it work so much better than display cases?
Obviously, the ability to walk through the longhouse really brought home how tall they were in particular. The context of a village also prioritized details of daily life, which speaks to visitors more than broad details of relationships between groups, which tends to be the focus of most museums.
For me, the details that stuck out were how high the longhouses were, and how the sheets of bark were overlapped to make the walls of the structures.
After all that, all I have to say is:
Visit the Huronia Museum!