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Museum of Homecoming

National Geographic defines caves as a veil of darkness that cloaks natural beauty, but Native Americans did not think so. They believe everything in this world has a soul and a spirit even if it’s just a rock. Although the Lenape did not mainly live within the caves, they brought warmth and life and created a shelter where many activities were performed. Lost pottery fragments, stone tools, and campfires are all evidence of the past found hidden beneath the rocks. The histories the land uncovers and conceals include an intimacy that has dwindled through time. They were crucial reminders of what remained in the daily life of Native Americans.

Specifically, pottery is a form of identity in which one discovers what tribe one belongs to. In addition, with those shards, one can identify the religious beliefs and daily lives of Native Americans. With forceful migrations, Native Americans have left those identities behind and separated from neighboring tribes acquiring different identities through time, allowing time to become a portal to erasure.

The project shows a transition of shattered ceramic patterns to traditional earthen pottery traveling from the Southwest to the North back to where they were ejected from. It announces a journey across a territory and across time longing for a place. Clay was a canvas for Native Americans to express themselves through symbols and designs. The pavilion allows modern Native Americans from different tribes to congregate and express their identity on the wall while promoting cultural continuity.