A new longterm exhibit on the Menominee Clans Story is coming to the Oshkosh Public Museum’s Winnebago Room this spring.
The exhibit features more than 30 meticulously hand-carved and painted wood figures created by Menominee elder and traditional craftsman James Frechette Jr. The figures, which stand between 12 and 20 inches high, and the setting on which they are displayed depict the origin story of the Menominee Clans system along the Wolf River.
“They are incredible works of art,” says Karla Szekeres, marketing and membership coordinator at Oshkosh Public Museum. “Visitors will be able to admire the beauty and spirituality of these figures, but they will also learn the story of the Menominee people, who are considered some of the first inhabitants of this area.”
The figures possess great cultural significance to the Menominee Nation. Each figure has the shape of an animal and is viewed as the living manifestation of that particular Clan ancestor. They are seen as sentient beings with human characteristics and attributes.
The Winnebago Room, located on the second floor of the museum, is currently closed as it is transformed into the Menominee Clans Story exhibit. The exhibit was formerly housed at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Museum of Natural History. The exhibit’s opening date is yet to be announced.
For more information and updates on the spring opening, visit oshkoshmuseum.org. –ACW