The special exhibit “Wearing Our Heritage” offers rare opportunity to see clothing worn by Abenaki men and women of earlier generations. Abenaki scholar and activist Frederick M. Wiseman has gathered original garments and accessories to assemble representative outfits like those worn by Abenaki men and women before 1850 as well as outfits for a man and a woman during in the 1900s through 1920s. The exhibit also includes examples of accessories such as moccasin tops, collars, head bands, needle cases and pouches.
The Abbe Museum has begun making its non-archaeological items available online with the goal of uploading all such items to its searchable database over the course of the next 12 months.
“We have been looking forward to sharing our collections online for a long time,” said Julia Gray, director of collections and interpretation. “With only a small portion of our collections on exhibit at any time, this gives people a chance to see so much more and to learn about Wabanaki history and culture through art and objects from anywhere in the world. We are also excited to use this as a platform to welcome Wabanaki community input and perspectives on our collections.”
Full story at Mount Desert Islander.
Fourteen-year-old Raven Sockalexis grew up hearing stories about Gluskabe, the transformer who shaped the landscape and the traditions of the Wabanaki people. Ruby El-Hajj, 16, grew up 30 miles south of Indian Island, in the Penobscot River town of Winterport. She had never heard of Gluskabe (gloo-SKA-beh) or his grandmother Monimkwe’su (muh-NIM KWA-soo) before this summer.
Both teens have spent the past two weeks with about 40 others between the ages of 4 and 19, working on Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of “Transformer Tales: Stories of the Dawnland,” a compilation of traditional Gluskabe stories that have been part of the Penobscot Indian Nation’s oral tradition for centuries. The show is being performed as part of the theater’s Dramatic Academy program.
“The play is about the adventures he goes on through his life,” Raven said. “It teaches people about how they are supposed to be in life. All of us grew up with these stories.”
“Indians Dancing Around a Circle of Posts” by John White (1585-1586)
An integral part of this place, here in Wantastegok (Brattleboro):
I have also been told, that among the broken hills back of where Joseph Goodhue now lives, was to be seen, not long after the commencement of the settlement of this town by civilized people, the remains of an establishment for the Indian dance. A circle trodden hard, so hard that it refused vegetation, was distinctly marked, and a substantial post was standing in the centre, with holes in the earth around it, supposed to be places for fire.
From “Lecture on the Early Settlement of Brattleboro” by Rev. Jedediah L. Stark (May, 1832)
Pieces of the past, to be woven back into the fabric of our lives in this land. #ReclaimingWantastegok #1
Archeology provided the backdrop for a story of human survival during a presentation of “Digging into Native History in New Hampshire: Whatever happened to the Abenakis?” at Seabrook Library.
The New Hampshire Humanities Council co-sponsored the library’s presentation by anthropologist Dr. Robert Goodby, associate professor of anthropology at Franklin Pierce University and author of more than 100 reports delving into New England prehistoric archaeology.
Goodby began his presentation to several dozen audience members with an explanation of his passion for finding and studying artifacts. He said his interest in studying anthropology began at the University of New Hampshire but he became engrossed with archaeology when he found a 7,000-year-old object at his first paid archeological dig. He said the experience changed his life.
“Archaeology is about people,” he said. “I asked myself, ‘How can I use this object to find out about people and their stories.’”
The National Park Service is welcoming members of the Elnu Abenaki tribe and artists from the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association this Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of cultural heritage programs at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington where the 262nd anniversary of the battle will also be observed.
The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine, will open a new permanent exhibit May 1. “People of the First Light” explores the life, history and culture of Wabanaki people.
Read the full announcement in the Portland Press Herald.