The Native American Indians who called the Southeastern forests and marshes home had a complicated relationship with each other and the European settlers who eventually landed here.

Over thousands of years of migration, groups including the Apalachee, the Cherokee and the Chickasaw settled in the areas we now call Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. The lush foliage, warm climates and plentiful sea life were an abundant environment to live off the land and raise generations.

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A new exhibit at the Massie Heritage Center explores the history of these dynamic and advanced peoples who were often swept aside once European settlers took hold in the region. The newly remodeled exhibit “American Indians of the Southeastern Coast” coincides with Native American Month and sheds light on the way American Indians lived, worked and played. On Saturday, Nov. 23, the museum will host a free American Indian exhibit showcase and open house featuring guided tours of the exhibit, living history demonstrations of American Indian survival skills and traditional Indian games providing fun for all ages.

Organizers encourage the public to come learn about American Indian migration paths which through thousands of years of travel eventually brought them into the Southeast of what is now known as North America. Tour guides will explain how American Indian technology and culture changed over time as they adapted to their new home and how the arrival of European settlers had a major impact on the American Indian way of life. Visitors can enjoy watching a living history demonstration about American Indian technology featuring flintknapping, deer hide tanning, fire making, cooking and more.

There are prizes up for grabs for winners of several ancient American Indian games with exotic names including – chunkee, corn dart toss and hub-bub. There will also be several hands-on craft experiences for visitors as tour guides demonstrate how to decorate clay pots, teach about waddle and daub construction and more.

It’s all aimed at shedding light on an ancient and often forgotten way of life for a people who called Southeastern North America home long before European settlers, organizers say.

The Massie Heritage Center is the only remaining building of Georgia's original chartered school system and now serves as a resource center for living history. Visitors to the Massie can take a step back in time through its period exhibits and architecture.

The center’s new exhibit “American Indians of the Southeastern Coast” is yet another way for Savannahians to step back in time and experience the people and traditions that make this vibrant area so rich with history.