View of the circular interior of the Pawnee Earth Lodge, with various replica objects displayed around the circular hearth in the center and on the walls.

Pawnee Earth Lodge

Category: Exhibition

Exhibition Summary


Included with Basic admission

Targeted age groups

All ages


Anchor: #connect-with-pawnee-culture-across-time-in-an-immersive-exhibit-space

Connect with Pawnee culture across time in an immersive exhibit space

Visit a full-size replica of an Earth Lodge, a circular building that for centuries was a home, classroom, and ceremonial place for Pawnee people. Despite being forcibly removed from their Nebraska homelands by the US government in the 1870s, Pawnee people still maintain a deep connection to their original home and cultural traditions. Though they are no longer used as housing, Earth Lodges continue to hold important cultural significance to Pawnee people today.

Citizens of the Pawnee Nation in Oklahoma served as advisors in creating this Earth Lodge when it originally opened in 1977. Through ongoing collaboration, the Lodge has been updated to include contemporary Pawnee culture and traditions, showing how culture adapts and is ever-changing.

Everything in the Earth Lodge is designed for hands-on experiential learning

Exhibition highlights:

  • Watch a video introduction to the Earth Lodge featuring museum partners from the Pawnee Nation
  • See displays outside the Lodge that represent Pawnee culture across time
  • During select hours, step into the Earth Lodge and get a customized experience by talking with a specially-trained volunteer
  • Inside the Lodge, experience elements of Pawnee culture from the past to the present day through hands-on elements: touch tools, textiles, animal hides, games, and sit on beds covered in bison furs

Field Trips

Are you an Illinois teacher bringing students on a field trip? Illinois field trip students can now explore the Pawnee Earth Lodge through a class led by Field Museum educators. This experience is ideal for students in grades 2-5.

To sign up, register using our online form. Please include any special requests when you submit the registration form. Learn more about our field trip class options.

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