The Upper Peninsula has inspired all sorts of wonder over the centuries. It also has fueled myth and mystery. The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University will focus on the latter with its upcoming exhibit, “Myth, Mysteries, Unexplained and Unproven.” The exhibit opens Saturday, June 20, in the gallery in 105 Cohodas Hall at NMU and will be on display through Sept. 26. It is free and open to the public.
Many assume the word “myths” implies untrue stories. While this is often the case, myths have value beyond stories to tell around a campfire. They also carry the cultural values and truths of a society or culture. The center’s exhibition will discuss myth from this perspective, not trying to disprove stories and phenomena, but rather to try to place their meaning within the context of the Upper Peninsula. Topics featured include stories about the Paulding Light, sasquatches, loup-garous (werewolves), ghost ships, UFOs, ancient mariners and many more. The exhibit will also explore how historians and archeologists determine what is fact, fiction, hoax or prank.
Much of the exhibition was researched and written by students in an NMU sociology course taught by Scott Demel titled “Myth, Mystery and Fraud in Archaeology.” The students conducted research on some of the topics and then wrote the exhibition text. They also identified relevant photographic resources. The exhibition is designed by the Beaumier Center’s student graphic designer, Riley Crawford, and curated by Daniel Truckey.
For more information, call 227-3212 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.