Our exhibitions illustrate mountain societies and the natural world, past and present. Temporary exhibits have been produced around themes such as blacksmithing, Cherokee myths and legends, and southern Appalachian handicrafts. Traveling exhibits look at North Carolina's State Dog, explorer William Bartram, Decoration Day traditions, and more.
Local ecosystems around the world face serious environmental challenges. Many Native communities have found innovative solutions by combining traditional knowledge with modern science. Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science features stories of ecological and cultural restoration from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Tulalip Tribes, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Native Hawaiians. The exhibit tells the stories of these communities, giving visitors examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science provide complimentary solutions to ecological and health challanges. The Cherokee are working with scientists and regional groups to restore river cane in its homelands in the mountains. They are also revitalizing cultural traditions that use cane. On display through 8/22/21
The Mountain Heritage Center’s exhibit River Cane Renaissance highlights the historic uses of river cane by residents of the southern Appalachians. A wide range of river cane artifacts and reproductions are featured, ranging from woven baskets and mats to tools, weapons, and musical instruments. The exhibit also explores the biology behind this type of bamboo—a unique grass--that is native to and grows throughout the Southeastern U. S. Finally, the exhibit showcases efforts, including those made by WCU students and alumn, that are being made to improve river cane habitat and bring back this native species. On display through 11/15/21
MHC second floor gallery at Hunter Library, M – F 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia is a cultural crossroads that has been visited and inhabited by people from many different cultural backgrounds. Discover talented and hard working people who have shaped this region. Learn about their varied backgrounds and the portions of their culture that they share with others. On display.
Artwork from aclaimed artist and author Ann Woodford, native of Cherokee County, NC. On display Fall 2021
WCU's Health and Human Services Building: Early healthcare in western NC