We, the Piscataway, have inhabited the land now known as Maryland for thousands of years prior to the first European coming to these shores. Our lifestyle and culture, like many of our mid-Atlantic neighbors, were decimated by the onslaught of European immigration. The vast colonial invasion provided little time for our people to adjust and become reoriented to the changing world. The strength of the matrilineal clans gave the Piscataway a mechanism to survive as a distinct culture throughout these many years
As America celebrates the Christopher Columbus "discovery'', we the indigenous peoples of this land celebrate our ability to continue to follow the traditions, values, and ceremonies given to us by the Creator. We believe that our ability to survive as a people Is dependent on our ability to ensure the survivability of the Earth Mother and all of our relations whom we share this world.
THE PISCATAWAY today are focusing our efforts on maintaining the arts, songs,and dances that have been passed down through the generations We are documenting our history in an effort to ensure that our young are aware of Piscataway contributions and losses to the colony of Maryland. This is being conducted while maintaining our primary philosophical and spiritual teachings.
This museum attempts to educate the non-Indian public to the diversity of People who are known by the term "American Indian" by exhibits reflecting their geographic locations and how that influences their tribal structure. art, and lodging construction. Exhibits are developed to provide recognition and acknowledgment of the respect the Piscataway people have for our non human relations.
THE BALANCE OF THE MUSEUM is focused on the Piscataway by highlighting our arts of yesterday and today, the tools the ancestors used in daily life, the major time periods in our history and other pertinent displays describing our people. The major attraction of this effort is the full scale re-constructed "longhouse" A longhouse is the type of home our ancestors lived in when the first contact with Europeans occurred. This exhibit reflects daily life items that would have been inside a longhouse during the pre-European contact period.
This facility is dedicated to promoting Native American culture and traditions through a variety of public and private cultural, social and educational events. Traditional arts have continued among the Piscataway and traditional designs are being incorporated and utilized on modern items.
Special recognition goes to the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) for their support in providing artifacts and tools*.
For further Information about this museum, please contact:
American Indian Cultural Center, Inc.
16816 Country Lane
Waldorf, Maryland 20601
Or call: (301) 372-1932
*Displays may not reflect the views of the MHT.