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The name Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha) means “against the current” and stands for overcoming obstacles and doing things differently. At the same time, it describes an important historical moment preceding the colonization of the American Midwest, when the Umoⁿhoⁿ split from the Osage, Quapaw, Kansa, and Ponca and moved upriver.


Between 1894 and 1898, Francis La Flesche compiled a collection of around 60 objects from his “own” culture, that of the Umoⁿhoⁿ, on behalf of the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin. Their provenance is well-documented. Francis La Flesche purchased the items over the course of four years on the reservation.

If things weren’t available, he had new ones made. The collection was assembled at a time when the political, economic, and cultural independence of Indigenous nations in the United States was being drastically curtailed. Their lives were marked by land loss, racism, and violence. La Flesche hoped to preserve at least part of the Umoⁿhoⁿ culture by collecting objects. He straddled two worlds: as an umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha) he fought for the rights of his community, and as an ethnologist he studied his own culture. He lived at a time when life for the Umoⁿhoⁿ was changing radically.

Today the collection is a link between past and present. It is the historical starting point for a new chapter in the relationship between the Umoⁿhoⁿ and the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin. Organised in cooperation with teachers and students of the Nebraska Indian Community College, descendants of Francis La Flesche, and representatives of the Umoⁿhoⁿ and the Ethnological Museum, the exhibition of the Humboldt Forum Foundation addresses current political and social issues.

- Free admission
- SECOND FLOOR
- Sparchen: German / English
- Opening hours from Wednesday to Monday from 10:30 am – 6:30 pm, Tuesday is regular closing day.
Additional information

Public transport: U-Bahn Museumsinsel (U5) 1 min walk; S/U Alexanderplatz 15 min walk; S Hackescher Markt 10 min walk, Bus 100, 200, 300, 147, N5

Educational Services

We do apologize that the following information is currently only available in German.

Accessibility


Barrier-free parking is available south of the Humboldt Forum on Schlossplatz. Barrier-free parking is available south of the Humboldt Forum on Schlossplatz. For more information, click here.
Dates
April 2024
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