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Meet the first people of the Willamette Valley

by: COURTESY PHOTO - The Kalapuya People exhibit at the Washington County Museum will feature baskets and clothing worn by the Native Americans of this region. The “Kalapuya People” exhibit at the Washington County Museum is now open.

The exhibit celebrates the cultural history of this region’s Native Americans, from the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya to today’s 130 Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Although Native Americans often identified themselves by where they lived — “People of the Falls” or “People of the Bright Shining Water,” for example — early Oregon explorers applied the term Kalapuya to the entire Willamette Valley, likely after they heard the term while traveling through the Columbia River Gorge.

The Kalapuya population was more than 15,000 at their time of contact with white settlers. Because of the Kalapuya’s extensive knowledge of plants, settlers moved into an ecosystem carefully prepared for thousands of years. by: COURTESY PHOTO - These arrowheads were donated by Virginia Hershey and used by Native Americans more than a century ago.

The exhibit will cover Kalapuya history, farming practices and cultural traditions, with photos and artifacts on display.

The Washington County Museum is located at 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro, and is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

— Courtesy of the Washington County Museum



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