Ganondagan Shines Light on Native Culture through International Symposium

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Date(s) - 10/16/2015 - 10/17/2015
6:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Seneca Art & Culture Center


A stellar group of dynamic researchers and experts will be featured on October 16-17, 2015 in the Symposium on Eastern Woodland Material Native Material Culture and Art, a collaboration between Friends of Ganondagan and Ganondagan State Historic Site. It is the first event to take place at the new Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan opening on October 3.

The study of material culture—the clothing, housing, tools, art, and any objects a culture produces—helps bring humanity to life. Each piece tells a particular story in the challenging search to more fully to understand a culture and its people.

Through images and lectures, the eight speakers—experts in the field of Eastern Woodland (including Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois) art—will explore and share the many ways of understanding material objects. Scholars as well as those interested in Native art, ethno-history, anthropology, archeology, and more will find the symposium appealing. With the majority of guest speakers Native American, the conference will synthesize classical study of material culture with the unique Native American perspectives on cultural meaning and value.

“In many cases, the forms, techniques, meanings and motifs of the old masters have been hidden away, or perhaps even lost to time,” notes Michael Galban (Washoe/Paiute), Ganondagan State Historic Site public historian and symposium organizer. “It’s through these types of conferences that we can gain a better understanding of Native peoples, cultures and world views.” Featured speakers hail from Germany, Canada, and the United States.

The opening reception and keynote address begin at 6 pm on Friday evening, October 16, with Rick Hill (Tuscarora) speaking on “A Sense of Beauty: Seneca Aesthetics.” Saturday, October 17 will be filled from 8 am – 5:30 pm with seven speakers discussing topics ranging from “Quill-decorated Trapezoidal Pouches” and “Anishinaabe Cosmology Woven into Art” to “Baby Carriers and Traditional Knowledge” and much more. All events take place at the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan, 7100 County Road 41 in Victor.

Symposium prices are $100/person; $90/early registration (by July 26), and $85/Friends of Ganondagan members. Full details and registration information can be found at: or call 585-742-1690.

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