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Iroquois/Haudenosaunee Material Culture, 1700-1815

February 24, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Material culture provides wonderful opportunities for studying aspects of the past that we cannot examine or understand fully through other means. In this richly illustrated presentation, Dr Carl Benn will explore the material culture of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, between 1700 and 1815. He will focus on how Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras presented themselves to the world through their clothing. Key questions will centre on what clothing did they have? what did they want to communicate through their dress? how did outsiders understand what they saw? what does it mean for appreciating Haudenosaunee history? and how does material culture enhance historical understanding?

Before coming to Ryerson University in 2008, Dr Carl Benn worked in the museum field for 34 years, latterly as Chief Curator of the City of Toronto’s Museums and Heritage Services. There, he fulfilled senior curatorial and managerial duties, restored historical properties, curated exhibits, and produced other public resources. Carl has published extensively, including six history books, the most recent being “A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton– Teyoninhokarawen”. His current book project is a history of the Royal Ontario Museum. Carl’s teaching at Ryerson focuses on museum history, curatorship, heritage management, material culture, and archaeology.

This is a virtual talk presented on Zoom. Admission is $8, or free for members. To register as a non-member please visit Members do not need to register. A link for this program will be emailed to all Schenectady County Historical Society members the day of the virtual program.


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February 24, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm