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Future Center
The Aquinnah Cultural Center now operates in donated space from the Wampanoag Tribe, until the planned cultural center complex is built. Preliminary design of the Aquinnah Cultural Center reflects a balance of private areas for cultural learning and public areas for visitor learning.

Development is planned for three phases, with cultural activities for tribal members emphasized in the Gay Head Longhouse phase to be developed first. Gallery exhibits and public programs will be available with the second phase completion of the Aquinnah Longhouse, with the Wampanoag Longhouse supporting an elder's lodge, library and cafe in the third phase. At present, cultural classes are being taught to meet the first priority.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is not a museum in the American mainstream sense. Rather than the standard definition of the museum as an institution that has or uses objects to preserve, research, exhibit and interpret culture, planning for the Aquinnah Cultural Center views objects as a part of culture. In other words, the primary focus of the Aquinnah Cultural Center is cultural preservation, with object preservation as one of many ways to increase the practice of culture. With a focus on people and the Wampanoag lifeway, the Aquinnah Cultural Center is a living cultural center. Exhibition themes are tied to people, not objects. In the Native American story, objects are used to tell a story. Planned exhibits start with origin stories and move in a circle, to explain the circle of life.

The diagrams on the next page illustrates the long-term cultural center endeavor. Our proposed project to teach cultural classes is an important part of the first phase of development.

 
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Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546
Phone: (508) 645 9265    Fax: (508) 645-3790    Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
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