The exhibition “Against the Current. The Omaha, Francis La Flesche, and His Collection” is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the teachers and students of Nebraska Indian Community College and a Berlin curatorial team. Its starting point is a collection of objects put together by Francis La Flesche (1857–1932) on behalf of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin at the end of the 19th century.
Francis La Flesche is regarded as North America’s first Indigenous ethnologist. Through him, the exhibition sheds light on a personality, who is representative of numerous Indigenous actors, without whom ethnological research and collections could not have taken place. His life and work are intrinsically linked to the oppressive history of the Indigenous peoples of North America and can only be understood against this background.
What meaning does the collection hold for the Umóⁿhoⁿ today? How do they look back on their past and what sums up their lifestyle today? The guided tour of the exhibition sheds light on the colonial-historical context of the origin of Francis La Flesche’s collection, expands on his biography and provides insights into the perspectives of Umóⁿhoⁿ members on their history and culture.