The Guide

Nanticoke Indian Museum: Preserving the Heritage of the Nanticoke People

Nanticoke Indians - Millsboro, Delaware

Keywords: Nanticoke Indian, Native American, history, heritage, artifacts, festival, powwow

In the town of Millsboro, Delaware, lies a cultural and historical treasure that has stood the test of time - the Nanticoke Indian Museum. Established in 1976, this museum stands as a poignant reminder of the endurance and resilience of the Nanticoke people, one of the oldest Native American tribes in the United States.

A History Steeped in Tradition

The Nanticokes have a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. They were renowned for their skilled hunting, fishing, and agricultural practices, which allowed them to thrive in the diverse ecosystems of the Eastern Woodlands. The tribe also had a complex social and political structure, with a hereditary chieftainship that ensured stability and order.

Preserving a Legacy

The Nanticoke Indian Museum was founded with the mission of preserving and celebrating the history and culture of the Nanticoke people. The museum is situated on the ancestral lands of the Nanticoke tribe, a testament to their deep connection to the land and their enduring spirit. Through its immersive exhibits, educational programs, and cultural preservation efforts, the museum provides visitors with a comprehensive understanding of this vibrant and resilient Native American tribe.

Immersive Exhibits

The museum features a range of immersive exhibits that transport visitors back in time and allow them to experience the rich culture and traditions of the Nanticoke people. Some of the notable exhibits include:

Nanticoke Lifeways:   This exhibit showcases the traditional way of life of the Nanticoke people, including their homes, clothing, tools, and weapons. Visitors can gain insight into the daily lives of the Nanticoke people and their close connection to the natural world.

Nanticoke History: This exhibit explores the history of the Nanticoke tribe, from their early settlements to their present-day community. Visitors can learn about the challenges and triumphs the tribe has faced throughout history, as well as their contributions to the broader American narrative.

Nanticoke Art and Crafts: This exhibit features a collection of exquisite Nanticoke art and crafts, including beadwork, pottery, and wood carvings. Visitors can marvel at the skill and creativity of Nanticoke artisans and gain an appreciation for their unique artistic traditions.

Nanticoke Language: This exhibit highlights the Nanticoke language, which is one of the few remaining Algonquian languages spoken in the United States. Visitors can learn about the linguistic diversity of the Nanticoke people and the importance of language preservation.

Educational Programs and Cultural Preservation

In addition to its exhibits, the Nanticoke Indian Museum offers a variety of educational programs and cultural preservation initiatives. These include guided tours, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations that provide visitors of all ages with a deeper understanding of Nanticoke history and culture. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, such as powwows, festivals, and cultural gatherings, which offer visitors the opportunity to experience Nanticoke traditions firsthand.

The Nanticoke Indian Museum plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the culture and heritage of the Nanticoke people. Through its dedication to education, cultural preservation, and community engagement, the museum ensures that future generations can learn about and appreciate the rich legacy of this indigenous tribe.


Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6.



workshops, tours, demonstrations, festivals, lectures, powwows
26673 John J. Williams Hwy.
Millsboro DE 19966
Spring-Fall (April-Dec.): Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-4pm
Winter (Dec.-April): Thursday - Saturdya, 10am3pm
Book now
lyft logo uber logo