Long Swamp: Life in the Etowah River Valley New Traveling Exhibit Explores Pre-contact Communities in Northwest Georgia and their Enduring Traditions Opening May 3 Closing December 6 4/29/2019

Press Release

Tricia Poncho
Phone: 337-584-1401
E-mail: triciaponcho@coushatta.org

Long Swamp: Life in the Etowah River Valley
New Traveling Exhibit Explores Pre-contact Communities in Northwest Georgia and their Enduring Traditions

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (April 26, 2019) – Long Swamp: Life in the Etowah River Valley, a traveling exhibition showcasing an American Indian archaeological site in Northwest Georgia, has arrived at SOWELA Technical Community College’s Lake Charles campus in the Arts and Humanities building. Opening on May 3, 2019, and closing on December 6, 2019, the exhibition recreates a true visual experience of the pre-contact Indian community in the Etowah River Valley in Northwest Georgia, where the northern banks of the river meet Long Swamp Creek.

Developing many thousand years ago and continuing through to the Mississippian Period (1000 AD – 1550 AD), the pre-contact Indian community had ingeniously established a village with homes, a palisade, and earthen mound. Visitors to Long Swamp will explore the stories of ‘Life in the Etowah River Valley’ through a series of 14 panels, each revealing a specific theme, over 80 artifacts and modern reproductions, as well as, an interactive digital component showcasing videos, digital artifacts, and other multimedia elements.

Working cooperatively with all of the modern tribes who once lived in Georgia, The Long Swamp exhibition also provides information about present-day tribal communities who share ancestral links to this community and the state of Georgia. The tribes’ stories of community, survival, human ingenuity and cultural continuity are told through archaeological records, historic documentation, and cultural knowledge and traditions. The exhibition also features artwork from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana community. Basketmaker and Coushatta Tribal Council member, Loretta Williams contributed a basket included in the Long Swamp artifact collections.

The exhibition is educational and fun for people of all ages and backgrounds. Operating hours will run from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be an opening reception on May 3, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring tribal basketry, beadwork and artisan demonstrations.

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana proudly joins the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and SOWELA Technical Community College in extending an open invitation to this once in a lifetime FREE public event.

Please contact the Cultural Revitalization Coordinator, Raynella Fontenot, or Coushatta Tribal Archivist, Marianna Luquette, with questions regarding the exhibit, (337) 584-1585 or (337) 584-1401.

What: Long Swamp: Life in the Etowah River Valley Exhibit
When:           OPENING RECEPTION Friday May 3, 10-1 pm
Exhibit dates: May 3, 2019 through December 6, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Where:          SOWELA Technical Community College, Lake Charles Campus
Arts and Humanities Building


About the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
After many years and hardships, including being illegally “terminated” without legislation during the Eisenhower administration, the Coushatta Tribe was officially re-recognized by the United States Government in 1973 and marked a major turning point in tribal history in 1985 with the election by popular vote of the first Coushatta tribal government.

From their earliest days as a proud, hard-working people struggling to maintain long-standing traditions in the face of possible relocation, the Coushatta Indians have endured and overcome every hardship they have faced and have remained on tribal lands in and around Elton, Louisiana, since the 1800s. Despite serious setbacks and some population dispersal, the tribe’s character and ideals have not only held fast, but have been strengthened. The Coushatta language, Koasati, is still spoken as a first language in the Coushatta community today. The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana owns and operates Coushatta Casino Resort, which employs more than 2,700 area residents. For more information about the Tribe, visit www.koasatiheritage.org. For more information about the Coushatta Casino Resort, visit www.coushattacasinoresort.com.

About SOWELA Technical Community College
SOWELA Technical Community College, located at 3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615, provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates that empower learners in transfer, career and technical education to excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 75 years. For more information about SOWELA, please visit

About the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory

The Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory is a research facility dedicated to the scholarly pursuit of knowledge about past cultures within Georgia and nearby areas. The laboratory supports the archaeological research and instructional activities of the University of West Georgia, Department of Anthropology and is a resource for visiting scholars from across the United States. The Waring Laboratory serves as a repository for the university’s research collections, for those from state and federal agencies with responsibilities for archaeological resources management, and for collections resulting from the compliance research projects undertaken by private archaeological firms. The laboratory provides unique learning and directed-research opportunities for students at the University of West Georgia, as well as educational outreach and interpretive programs within the local community and across the United States.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Office of Environmental Services (Cultural Resources) The Georgia DOT is responsible for reviewing transportation projects and ensuring that all projects comply with applicable federal and state historic preservation laws and regulations. The Cultural Resources Section’s review of GDOT projects is generally conducted under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (if federally funded or permitted), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or the Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA) (if State funded).  The Cultural Resources staff includes 7 archaeologists, 7 historians, and 1 Cultural Resources manager and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.