Hamptons Gets First Look at Shinnecock’s Wikun Village

After much anticipation, Hamptonites will got a first glimpse of the Shinnecock Museum‘s new Wikun (Shinnecock for “Good”) Village in Southampton during a special ribbon cutting ceremony and preview of the outdoor living culture exhibit on Thursday, May 9.

The Wikun Experience will be open to the public for a Preview Week from Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 20 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), but the official Grand Opening is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

The exhibit tells the story of life in a 17th/18th century Shinnecock Indian community. Just steps away from the museum in a 2-acre pine/oak forested area, the Village is a living step back in time, where guests become an active participant in an authentic indigenous experience.

Visitors may speak with well-trained, knowledgeable native staff as they carry out daily village-life and activities. See villagers relaxing by an open fire inside a nishweetu (two-fire longhouse) with soft fur-covered benches, handmade bags and bowls, and women tending the traditional garden nearby. Unlike conventional living history sites, the Wikun Village staff do not “role play” the period. They are native people of today talking about the culture and history of the Shinnecock people.

The Wikun Village Experience includes guided boat and Village tours, children’s programs, dance presentations, craft demonstrations, workshops and more. The Wikun Village is one of only a handful of living native culture sites in the United States, and will likely increase tourism for the East End, as well as serve to create a new and historic imprint for the Shinnecock people.

Starting on Saturday, May 25, regular Wikun Village hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $6.75 for children (5–12 years) and free for children under 5. A basic membership (individual and family) includes unlimited free admission to the Shinnecock Museum and Wikun Village for one year. The Wikun Village site is just east of the museum at 100 Montauk Highway in Southampton.

For information visit shinnecockmuseum.com or call 631-287-4923.

Journey Back to the Wikun Village Preview Week
This special four-day preview begins next Thursday, May 16 and runs daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, May 20. It is open to the public and will feature guided tours, singing and social dancing, children’s programs, traditional skills demonstrations, commemorative gift giveaways.

Wikun Village concept art

Wikun Village concept art by David Martine, shinnecockmuseum.com

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