"Fulfilling a Prophecy" Co-Curator Abigail Seldin Awarded Rhodes Scholarship

21 NOVEMBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PACo-curator of Penn Museum's Fulfilling a Prophecy and a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Seldin has been awarded a 2009 Rhodes Scholarship.

Ms. Seldin is a senior in the Department of Anthropology of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

Rhodes Scholars spend two to three years studying at the University of Oxford. She plans to study anthropology at Oxford’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology.

"Penn has provided me with unparalleled opportunities to pursue my passion for anthropology, both at Penn Museum and through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships,” she said. “I am deeply grateful to my family, Penn President Amy Gutmann, Dr. Harriet Joseph at CURF and Dr. Robert Preucel of Penn Museum for their consistent support and encouragement and to the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania for honoring me with our partnership these past two years."

It was the second "gift" in as many days for her:

Two leaders of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania surprised her on Friday, November 21st by presenting her with a thank you gift for her work as a co-curator of "Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape of Pennsylvania."

Ms. Seldin received a hand-made beaded pendant of gratitude for her part in telling the story of the Lenape people of this region from Chief Robert Red Hawk Ruth and Shelley DePaul, co-curators of the year-long exhibition.

The gift was created by Lenape Nation artisan Phillip "Gray Wolf" Rice (aka Wak' Teme). An accompanying certificate explains the symbolism behind the artwork, and the special reason for the gift:

"With the exhibit Abby and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology put together, we, the Lenape are no longer the 'invisible people.' We put on an exhibit for the world to see, and a new beginning is before us, hence the color yellow for Abby's name. Above Abby's name are four diamonds. Red for our Grandmother of the South (warm and nurturing), Yellow for our Grandfather of the East (the Morning Star and a new beginning). Green for our Mothering Earth, and Blue for Creator.

Each of these four will always be watching over Abby and her endeavors in life, and finally the neck strands are joined by an area of Blue, symbolizing that each time Abby wears this pendant necklace, Creator is close at hand and always at her back. Wear this in good health Abby, and Wanishi for all you have done for the Nation."

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.

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