Tomaquag Museum

Tomaquag Museum

Nonprofit - Traditional Arts



 390 A Summit Rd, RI, Exeter, RI 02822

Tomaquag Museum, celebrating our 60th anniversary, was established in 1958 by Eva Butler, an anthropologist, with the guidance of the late Princess Red Wing (Narragansett/Wampanoag).  It is Rhode Island’s only museum entirely dedicated to telling the story of the Indigenous Peoples. Tomaquag, located in historic Arcadia Village in Exeter since the early 70’s, is also the only Rhode Island museum led by Indigenous people. It originated in Tomaquag Valley, a hamlet inside the village of Ashaway, RI.


Tomaquag Museum, an Institute of Museum and Library Services 2016 National Medal winner, has a unique collection of thousands of cultural objects along with hundreds of thousands of pieces of archival materials focusing on the Indigenous peoples of Southern New England and highlighting the federally recognized Narragansett Tribe. This year, the museum is partnered with RI Council for the Humanities for the Rhode Tour, finalizing a new book to be published in the fall, and have several new exhibits. This well-respected Museum is visited each year by researchers, students, and travelers from across the United States and throughout the world.


Through our Indigenous Empowerment Network (IEN) we are empowering Native artists, youth and community through internships, apprenticeships, museum careers, and arts business development. Tomaquag has over 25 Native artists collaborating in the new museum store, exhibiting in the new contemporary arts exhibit, participating in partner art shows, performing, demonstrating and teaching art workshops. Tomaquag has over 50 partnerships such as Brown, URI, RISCA, Hera Gallery, Steelyard, Contemporary Theater, & Trinity Rep.


Presentations for the public through offsite programs, lectures, and cultural presentations bring traditional arts, culture and history to the public. Tomaquag’s unique educational programs include specialized tours, offsite programs, lectures, educator’s training, conferences, books, curricula and more.