Lenapehoking is the first Lenape-curated exhibition of Lenape cultural arts, both historic and contemporary, in the City of New York.
“Lenapehoking" is the Lenape name for the Lenape homeland, which spans from Western Connecticut to Eastern Pennsylvania, and the Hudson Valley to Delaware, with New York City at its center.
Museum institutions have historically overlooked the Lenape genocide in favor of a trade and commerce narrative. Lenape Center has placed this exhibition at the Greenpoint Library to explore the library as a site for the intersection of beauty, knowledge, and diverse publics. At a time when society is constantly asking more from traditional museums, the library offers a democratic space free of the hierarchies of museum practice to experience Lenape art and culture within a community setting.
The exhibition features masterworks by Lenape artists past and present (beadwork, a turkey feather cape, and a culinary tapestry from the seed rematriation project in the Hudson Valley) as examples of the survivance and beauty of Lenape culture. Bandolier bags from 1830 to 1850 are examples of the determination of our Lenape ancestors to continue their culture in a tumultuous time of forced removal and dispossession.
As part of the exhibition, Greenpoint Library’s rooftop teaching garden will feature Indigenous fruit trees that were cultivated by the Lenape in Manhattan, creating much needed continuity between ecological past and present. Original music, poetry and Lenape foodways by Lenape artists and friends will be incorporated into the programming during the run of the exhibition.
This will be an important and long overdue experience for all those who will visit this exhibition, facilitating deeper understandings and of Lenape culture and necessary awakenings of the place on which the library is situated.
—Curator Joe Baker, Enrolled Member, Delaware Tribe of Indians & Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lenape Center
For talks and events, please go here.
Lenapehoking is made possible in part with support from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.