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Manahahtáanung or New Amsterdam?

The Indigenous Story Behind New York

16 May - 10 Nov 2024
Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel

    16 May - 10 Nov 2024

    Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel

    Manahahtáanung or New Amsterdam?

    The Indigenous Story Behind New York

    Buy tickets
    Popje mandje3

    16 May - 10 Nov 2024

    Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel

    Amsterdam Museum and Museum of the City of New York present

    400 years ago the first Dutch colonists arrived in the area known today as New York. Their mission given by the Dutch West India Company was to establish the colony of New Netherlands, with New Amsterdam as its capital, at the southern tip of what is today the island of Manhattan. The Amsterdam Museum has joined with the Museum of the City of New York and representatives of the Lenape —original inhabitants of this area of the United States— in creating an exhibition about this shared history.

    The exhibition Manahahtáanung or New Amsterdam? The Indigenous Story Behind New York is on display until 10 November 2024.

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    A map of ye mighty Hudson River, Coulton Waugh, 1958, collectie Amsterdam Museum

    From an Indigenous perspective

    The impetus for this collaboration and the exhibition is that 2024 marks 400 years since the Dutch arrived in America to establish a colony at the mouth of the Hudson River. After the colony was conquered by the English in 1664, the following centuries saw the settlement grow into the city of New York. The Dutch invasion and decades-long colonization of the area in the 17th century had tremendous consequences for the Indigenous people who lived in the region, and on the island which they called Manahahtáanung. Not only did they lose their land, they were victims of disease, war, and the disappearance of their own livelihoods. The colonists deliberately made it impossible for Indigenous peoples to maintain their way of life and culture. Despite this, Indigenous communities have consistently resisted these changes, even up until the present moment.

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    Colonialism in Suriname, the Caribbean, and Asia is getting an increasing amount of attention in the Netherlands and at the Amsterdam Museum. Yet, due to colonial activities in North America, Amsterdam has also left indelible traces.

    Imara Limon, fotograaf Kevin Kwee

    Imara Limon

    Conservator Amsterdam Museum

    Collectiecentrum Amsterdam Museum 30 oktober 2023 Foto Amsterdam Museum Francoise Bolechowski 1

    About the collaboration

    For this exhibition, the Amsterdam Museum is partnering with the Museum of the City of New York and representatives of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of the area that is now Manhattan. Cooperating with the Lenape, represented by people from various nations, makes this exhibition unique and requires flexibility from all parties as they engage in new approaches to work together. The leadership of the four Lenape nations—the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation, the Munsee-Delaware Nation and Eelunaapeewi-Lahkeewiit (Delaware Nation)—selected a number of individuals to formulate the exhibition jointly with the two museums.

    These representatives of the Lenape Nations

    Chief Urie Ridgeway (Nanticoke Lenape Nation), Cory Ridgeway (Nanticoke Lenape Nation), Brent Stonefish (Eelūnaapéewi Lahkéewiit / Delaware Nation), George Stonefish (Eelūnaapéewi Lahkéewiit / Delaware Nation), Lesley Snake (Eelūnaapéewi Lahkéewiit / Delaware Nation), Sherry Huff (Eelūnaapéewi Lahkéewiit / Delaware Nation), Denise Dunkley (Nanticoke Lenape Nation), Steven D. Smith (Ramapough Lenape Nation). 

    A phantasmagorical history of Manhatta Island Strawberry Fields, 2024, patricia kaersenhout

    A phantasmagorical history of Manhatta Island Strawberry Fields, 2024, patricia kaersenhout

    Artists

    Stephen Conaway, Charlene DeFreese, Denise Dunkley, Chihiro Geuzebroek, Leonard D. Harmon, Jesse Jay Gould, patricia kaersenhout, Dora Logan, Myles Jackson Lynch, Celeste Noah, Donna Noah, George Stonefish, Xander Stonefish. 

    Speurtocht, 2024, Fotografie: Mike Bink

    Treasure hunt for children aged 8+

    With the treasure hunt accompanying the exhibition Manahahtáanung or New Amsterdam? The Indigenous Story Behind New York, children aged 8 and up are transported into the story of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of what is now New York. What was it like for them when suddenly the Dutch came from far across the sea to claim their land? What exactly did the Dutch come to do there? And did it all go fairly? By means of a comic book, created by Anouschka Boswijk, and an accompanying treasure hunt, you will go on an exploration to answer these questions, and much more! For a preview of the comic book, see below. It will also be available in English.

    From May 16, available for free pickup at the Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel box office

    More information and tickets

    This exhibition was made possible by

    The exhibition Manahahtáanung or New Amsterdam? The Indigenous Story Behind New York will be held at the Amsterdam Museum from May 16 through November 10, 2024. The exhibition is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, DutchCultureUSA, and the Netherlands Consulate General in New York. The exhibition will be on view in New York in 2025. The Amsterdam Museum is generously supported by the Municipality of Amsterdam, VriendenLoterij, and the ELJA Foundation.

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