We often think of the “lost colony” and the arrival of European settlers when we consider the history of the Outer Banks. A visit to the family-friendly Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center provides deeper insight into our history and the original peoples of the Outer Banks.
The 100 year old building is home to an amazing, nationally recognized collection of Native American artifacts, art, exhibits, and natural history displays. Galleries filled with native art include information on Native Americans across the United States as well as artifacts from the first inhabitants of Hatteras Island.
A dug-out canoe, discovered on museum property, as well as items recovered from the site of East Carolina University’s archaeological dig at Buxton Village date back to the original inhabitants. Don’t miss the new displays on Native Americans and the environment, including several new interactive exhibits. As an added bonus, everyone has an opportunity to beat the wishing drum!
The museum likes to keep the community involved through Native American workshops and studies, scout badge work, school projects, as well as programs for the visually impaired, and senior citizen seminars.
Outside, the museum’s nature trails wind through beautiful maritime forest with bridges that cross a small stream. Throughout the trails, visitors will find labeled plant specimens and exhibits, open spaces with benches and roped walkways winding through wooded areas. A locally built round-bottom shad boat is among the surprises of the marshland that provide glimpses into the past. Explore the fossil pile at the end of the maritime forest pavilion and find a treasure trove of ancient sharks’ teeth, fossilized shells, and other fossils dating back millions of years.
Special events have included “Journey Home: Annual Inter-tribal Powwow” and “Dancing Moccasins: Living History” weekend. These events often include activities such as face painting, soapstone carving, pottery, leather work, flute making, and star quilting which the whole family will enjoy!
Remembering all the history and culture of the peoples of the Outer Banks is an important and fascinating way to better appreciate this beautiful place.