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Exhibition explores importance and uses of tree bark


The New Jersey State Museum presents “Bark! Indigenous Cultural Expressions,” on view May 4, through Jan. 5, in the Riverside Gallery on the second floor of the museum, located at 205 W. State St., Trenton, N.J.

The exhibition features objects from the museum’s Ethnographic collection, exploring indigenous cultural practices from the Pacific Northwest, South America, Pacific Islands, and the local Eastern Woodlands area. Learn how bark is harvested and crafted, and how these ancient traditions continue today.

The exhibition is supported in part by the nonprofit New Jersey State Museum Foundation.

Assistant Curator of Archaeology and Ethnography Karen Flinn and Curator of Education Beth Cooper organized the exhibition to present rarely seen objects from the museum’s collection and help visitors understand the importance of bark to indigenous populations.

According to Flinn, “The use of tree bark is global and ubiquitous, from prehistoric times to today. Indigenous communities all over the world harvest bark, using it as a source of food and medicine, to craft everyday objects and works of art.”

Activities for all ages will be available on select weekends throughout the run of the exhibit; dates and times will be posted on the museum’s website. The text of this exhibition will be available in Spanish via a QR code and in a large print format.

General museum admission is free. For information visit

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