Community News

WAMPUM/OTGOÄ Exhibition at Ganondagan

Ganondagan welcomes these important Wampum objects back to Turtle Island for the first time since the formation of the United States

Victor, NY— From March 25th – September 16th, 2023, the Seneca Art & Culture Center will showcase the WAMPUM/OTGOÄ exhibition featuring important Indigenous wampum objects from the musée du quai Branly, wampum belts from the Rochester Museum and Science Center and contemporary Wampum works by featured Haudenosaunee artists.

The objects from France come from a time prior to the formation of the United States and represent a complicated legacy of diplomacy between Indigenous nations and the colonial French.

This unprecedented collaboration between Ganondagan, the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the McCord Museum postures Ganondagan as an international resource for authentic cultural interpretation and educational inquiry. The exhibition is the culmination of 300 years of European contact and four years of dedicated relationship-building between the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Paris, France) and Ganondagan.

“Wampum yearns to be understood, and also to deliver the meaningful messages it was assigned long ago. Here at Ganondagan, it will be given that opportunity once again. Wampum is enigmatic in its versatility, it heals, protects, beautifies and confirms relationships. There was a time when everyone east of the Mississippi River understood the use and importance of wampum. We invite all peoples to come to Ganondagan and learn from and about this ancient and yet very contemporary sacred semiotic.” – Michael Galban (Washoe/Paiute), Ganonda-gan’s Historic Site Manager.

“Wampum has a lot to say, and Ganondagan will do our best to share those words with the public. The Wampum we have invited here, in many ways, are functioning again as objects that have the ability to restore peace.” – Ansley Jemison (Seneca, Wolf Clan), Ganondagan’s Cultural Liaison.

The WAMPUM/OTGOÄ exhibition runs from March 25th – September 16th, 2023 at the Seneca Art & Culture Center. Individual tours are self-guided with guided group tours and class-room tours available. Wampum enrichment will feature monthly Haudenosaunee artists and knowledge keepers, a symposium and educational materials.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Friends of Ganondagan, Terra Foundation of American Art, JC Seneca Foundation, Forge Project, traditional lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, Athens Fine Art Services, LLCDonn Vickers and Sharon Sachs, musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Rochester Museum & Science Center and the Rock Foundation.

Visit for more information.

To schedule group tours – contact Kristin Asche, (585) 924-5848,