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Mannahatta VR

Interactive Virtual Reality Experience

Long before Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609, Manhattan or Manaháhtaan, as originally named by the Indigenous Lenape people, was a place of gathering and exchange amongst diverse nations. Today, Broadway runs along a portion of the original matrix of trails that connected Manaháhtaan to the broader northeast region and the Great Lakes. Artist Beatrice Glow and The Wayfinding Project at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University partnered with Alexandre Girardeau of Highway101ETC to build Mannahatta VR, an interactive virtual reality experience which brings together the past and present of one Broadway block.

This ongoing project is growing through conversations with Native culture bearers, ecologists, artists, educators and technologists. In the process, we ask ourselves how can we expand knowledge of Indigenous Manhattan? What does a sustainable Indigenous future look like? How do we ethically create a historically palpable digital storytelling experience? We approach the virtual reality experience not as a final product, but a platform for our collective envisioning that has the potential to evolve into an immersive oral history archive.

Mannahatta VR was a supplement to Lenapeway, an installation that was on 24-hour view in the street-level windows of 715 Broadway (at Washington Place) from October 10, 2016 (Indigenous Peoples’ Day) to December 9, 2016. The location of the installation, which was viewable from the sidewalk 24/7 and was cosponsored by NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the A/P/A Institute, marks the intersection of the main Lenape trail and a side-trail that traverses through present-day Washington Square Park.

Learn more at

Mannahatta VR, Chief Mann's Speech, 2016-Present

Mannahatta VR, Subway, 2016-Present

Mannahatta VR, George Stonefish's Speech, 2016-Present