Wasted by Cannupa Hanska Luger, 2016-2020, continuous ceramic seriesHowes Cave, NY--The Iroquois Indian Museum announces the outdoor exhibition “Tonto, Tepees, and Totem Poles: Considering Native American Stereotypes in the 21st Century,” which will be displayed in July and August in the open-air pavilion on the museum’s grounds in Howes Cave. The museum also announces a summer series of Facebook Live mini-lessons and demonstrations by Iroquois educators and artists, as well as a virtual raffle. 

“Tonto, Tepees, and Totem Poles” revisits themes from the museum’s 2018 show of the same title and features banners with information on Native American stereotypes in popular culture, as well as photographs of a selection of contemporary works by Native American artists. Artworks include images of “Wasted,” a series of ceramic bottles and cigarettes with culturally appropriated Native images by Cannupa Hanska Luger and “We’ll Say Who We Are,” a beer coaster featuring a caricature of a chief surrounded by photos of the artist's family and friends by 2020 National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient Karen Ann Hoffman. 

Each year, the museum develops exhibitions around current issues in Iroquois culture with works by contemporary Native artists from around the country. The 2020 exhibit Identity/Identify exploring blood quantum and tribal membership has been postponed due to museum closure in response to public health concerns around Covid-19. The show will have a virtual opening in the fall and official opening in 2021.

“Even though our museum is closed, we want to invite people to engage with us through live virtual events and by visiting our beautiful grounds to walk through our 45-acre nature park and consider contemporary issues and Haudenosaunee art in the outdoor exhibit,” says Museum Director Steph Shultes. “We’re also offering a virtual raffle because we’re not able to hold the popular in-person raffle that is usually a part of our annual festival, which we’ve canceled due to public health concerns.”

The series of Facebook Live events will be each Wednesday at noon, from July 8 through Aug. 26, on the Iroquois Indian Museum’s Facebook page. The live events will feature 10-minute talks with our two Iroquois cultural interpreters and mini Iroquois art demonstrations, including beadwork, porcupine quillwork, traditional clothing, and finger weaving. For more information on the virtual events, visit https://www.iroquoismuseum.org/events-calendar The virtual raffle includes four weekly Sunday drawings starting Aug. 18. Tickets are $5 and available at https://www.iroquoismuseum.org/virtual-raffle

Visitors should prepare to take their trash with them and know that the museum building, including restrooms, are closed to the public. 


The Iroquois Indian Museum is an independent nonprofit cultural museum founded in Schoharie County, NY in 1981. It houses the largest collection of contemporary Iroquois art in the world and offers a window into Iroquois culture and history through archaeology, education, and visual and performing arts. The 7,300-square-foot facility inspired by the traditional Iroquois longhouse presents changing and permanent exhibits, the interactive Children’s Museum, and the Museum Shop, which features hand-crafted Iroquois art, silver, and leatherwork. The museum is surrounded by a 45-acre Nature Park, two 19th-century log houses formerly on the Six Nations Reserve, and an outdoor covered amphitheater. 


Photo: Wasted by Cannupa Hanska Luger, 2016-2020, continuous ceramic series





Cassandra Miller,

Marketing and Communications Manager iroquoismuseumcassandra@gmail.com



Steph Shultes, Executive Director





Iroquois Indian Museum

324 Caverns Road

Howes Cave, NY 12092