History is an incredible thing – every where you stand, there is hundreds and thousands of years of history waiting to be told right under your feet. The Pawnee Indian Museum in Kansas takes you back to a time when the Pawnee Indians settled in Republic County, even as early as 1770.
The Kithahahki band of Pawnee stayed in this area until about 1802. Kids – what kind of dwellings do you think they would have lived in? Well, they would have been the traditional Pawenee dome-shaped earth lodges. Some of these could be up to 60 feet in diameter – that’s pretty big!
Each of the lodges had a center pit which was dug inside, about 3 to 4 feet in diameter. This would have served as a fireplace. Fascinating stuff isn’t it!
The reason the Pawnee Indian Museum know all of this today is because of archaeologists, who excavated at the site and actually uncovered about half of the village! How incredible! Remains of about 22 lodges have been uncovered, as well as 40 storage pits, and even a fortification has been documented. And it’s all in the museum for you to see!
The museum was actually built over the remains of a lodge depression, so it’s floor is exposed and all of the objects, which include some structural remains, have been left just where the archeologists found them.
In addition to ALL of this history that your family can immerse themselves in, you can see two rare Pawnee sacred bundles, a star chart painted on buckskin (it’s amazing what cultures of the past knew about our sky and stars!), a bison rode (cozy!), metals traded from Europe, and even paintings.
There are also changing exhibits, which include other stories from their past and even photography exhibits.
The Pawnee Indian Museum really gives an incredible insight into an incredible culture. An eye opening, fascinating and educational family day out for the kids in Kansas!