The McCasland Foundation Hall of the People of Oklahoma traces the 30,000-year history of the Native people of the state. Exhibits begin with the earliest archaeological evidence of humans in Oklahoma, and travel through time to an examination of what it means to be Native American in Oklahoma today. The entry walls are covered in handprints made by representatives from 26 of Oklahoma’s 39 federally recognized tribes. Gallery highlights include the “Cooper Skull,” the crushed skull of a now-extinct bison, painted with a red zigzag pattern. At 10,000 years old, it is the oldest painted object in North America. An audio-visual display takes you to the box canyon in northern Oklahoma where this important artifact was found. Walk through full-scale reproductions of the pole houses or climb into a reproduction of a cedar canoe in the Mississippian Cultural Universe exhibit. The people of the Mississippian culture, who lived 1,200 years ago, built these structures and Oklahoma’s famous Spiro mounds. Continue through time and explore the modern-era exhibits that focus on the Native American experience in Oklahoma in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including examples of clothing, toys and other objects that represent ceremonial and everyday traditional activities of the western tribes.
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