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Folklore: Being and Belonging in the Grand River Region, before and after 1827

February 17 @ 8:00 am - August 11 @ 5:00 pm

Folkloric practices – beliefs and customs passed through generations, often by oral traditions – have been shared through stories and storytellers in this place, long before it was known as Guelph.

At the turn of the 19th century, the Grand River region comprised both Indigenous and settler communities, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Six Nations Confederacy (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), as well as Black Loyalists (both free and enslaved peoples who sought refuge in Canada after the American Revolution) and Scottish colonists, among other European settlers.

Exploring relationships with land, water, and weather; food, plants, and medicine; language, stories, and teaching; music and dance; crafting and creating; and societal roles and community gathering, this exhibition examines communication and conflict among local cultural, geographic, and spiritual communities, before and after 1827.

Through stories, belongings, and creative expressions of the past, we witness the evolution of everyday life in the place we now call Guelph, and draw connections to present-day lived experiences. Then, as today, folkloric practices contribute to culture, community, being, and belonging.

Cover image: Berry Picking on River Road (Six Nations Public Library SNPL000359v00i)

Sophia Lawson Mallotte and Myrtle Mallotte (Guelph Museums 1998.33.12)

John and Irvine Laidlaw (Guelph Museums 1972.20.47)



February 17 @ 8:00 am
August 11 @ 5:00 pm
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Guelph Museums


Guelph Civic Museum
52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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