MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is
set to open a museum and research center devoted to American Indian
histories and cultures.
The $135 million Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center
will combine a public museum, a research library and archives.
The institution will be located on the tribal reservation
"The museum's permanent exhibits will tell the largely unknown
story of the Pequots, and the research center's resources will help
inform accounts of other tribes.
"Our hope is to greatly increase the understanding of American
Indian histories and cultures to benefit all American Indians.,"
said Theresa Bell, executive director of the facility.
The building will house 85,000 square feet of permanent exhibits
displaying the story of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe through
various media; a 5,000-square-foot gallery designed for temporary
exhibits, and a 420-seat auditorium for lectures, symposia and
performances of Indian dance, music, storytelling and poetry.
The center will include a research library, a children's
library, print and electronic archives, a collection of American
Indian materials focusing on northeastern North America from the
16th to 20th centuries and archaeological and ethnological research
and conservation laboratories.
The permanent exhibits will trace the tribe's history, culture
and evolving way of life.
Items on display include a simulated glacial crevasse; a diorama
depicting a caribou hunt scene, interpreted through computer
interactives, and a re-created 16th century village.
Guests can take guided tours of the excavated, 17th century Fort
at Mashantucket, located near the museum.
They also can explore a re-created 1780 Pequot farmstead, which
is a two-acre outdoor exhibit adjacent to the museum.
For travelers with disabilities, the museum has set up an
infrared system to guide blind and low-visibility visitors
independently through the exhibits; portable digital audio guides;
closed captioning in all theaters and interactive media stations,
and tactile maps and displays.
Trained signers can be arranged for groups.
The museum is scheduled to open June 1, 1998 and is located
seven miles from the town of Mystic.