How Did We Get Here?

The students who worked on this digital exhibition would like to acknowledge the Indigenous tribes who have resided on the lands Lafayette College stands on in the past and present. Broadly speaking this includes the Lenape tribes, within which are several subgroups with distinct dialects. We respect their sovereignty and are honored for the opportunity to write about Indigenous histories from this place.  

The objects in the Lafayette Collection reproduced on this website were collected at a time when artist signatures were rare among Indigenous makers, and so we do not know the individual makers of each object. Instead, we list the specific cultural group where the object originated, when known. When generalization is required, we have chosen to use the word Indigenous to describe the diverse range of cultures from both North and Central America who are represented in this collection.

This website results from initial examination of the objects conducted in the spring of 2020, prior to widespread lockdowns in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic eases and students return to campus, further research will provide new avenues of study for Indigenous art at Lafayette College.