How has the image of the “American Indian” been formed in France and Europe over the centuries?

From 22 October 2021 to 28 August 2022, the Musée des Confluences’ latest exhibition explores the richness of Amerindian cultures.

 Archives | Last updated date : 31/08/2022

 Past event
From 22/10/2021 to 28/08/2022 between 10.30 am and 6.30 pm except on January 1st and December 25th. Closed on Monday.
Musée des Confluences 86 quai Perrache - 69002 Lyon 2ème
Sur la piste des Sioux © Bertrand Stofleth - Musée des Confluences

Tepee, feather, bison, peace pipe, arrow, headdress... These are some of the images that immediately spring to mind when we think of the indigenous populations of the northern half of the American continent. However, these symbols do not represent all of the nations that lived in North America prior to colonisation.

This new exhibition at the Musée des Confluences takes a look back at the long process of constructing an iconography of the “American Indian” in France and Europe, through travel stories, pictorial works, novels, Wild West shows, advertisements and films.

The immersive and chronological exhibition space begins with the symbolic images of a Plains bison and a tepee, and goes on to present the first contact made with Indian peoples in the sixteenth century, the golden age of the Western, the new Indian stereotype and notably the Wild West Shows that travelled through Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Once again, the Musée des Confluences exhibits exceptional items (including headdresses, beaded vests and ritual objects), thanks in particular to Belgian collector François Chladiuk and his collection of 157 authentic objects from the 1920s and 30s.

An exhibition not to be missed, which re-establishes the truth and brings a little bit of justice to peoples that have all too often been used and mistreated.

Entrance to this exhibition is included in the Lyon City Card: Lyon’s culture and leisure pass.


Mélina joined our gang this summer, and we're all delighted!She's from the Vendée on the west coast of France, and her eyes are as blue as the ocean that laps its shores. In fact her kind and mischievous eyes are the first thing you notice about her, and you soon realise that despite her gentle and even quite discrete nature lies a boundless source of energy!

Useful tips

  • From 22/10/2021 to 28/08/2022 between 10.30 am and 6.30 pm except on January 1st and December 25th.
    Closed on Monday.


Musée des Confluences

86 quai Perrache - 69002 Lyon 2ème

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