Wabanaki Basketmakers Fare Well at Heard Indian Art Fair

Jeremy-Frey-Heard-Fair

Three Indian basketmakers from Maine won high honors at a national Indian art fair in Phoenix, Arizona. Jeremy Frey, a Passamaquoddy, won first place in Division B baskets (natural or commercial fibers, any form) and Sarah Sockbeson, a Penobscot, won second place in the same division at the 59th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, which was March 4-5 in Arizona.

Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy, won honorable mention in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and a Judges Choice award in the same division. All three were juried into the 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial.

 

Advertisements

Deep Time: Wabanaki Presence in the Dawnland

People of the First Light Abbe Museum

“People of the First Light,” the main exhibit at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor, explores the history and culture of the native people who lived on Mount Desert Island for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Photo by Dick Broom.

By the time European explorers “discovered” the coast of Maine in the early 1600s, native people already had been living here for thousands of years.

Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation dating back at least 5,000 years on and around Mount Desert Island.

Long before the first Europeans came, the native people had established “a well-adapted and fairly affluent life in their homeland surrounding present-day Acadia National Park,” wrote Julia Clark and George Neptune of the Abbe Museum of Maine Native American history and culture in Bar Harbor.

Full story at the Mount Desert Islander.

Edward Curtis and Wabanaki Perspectives at Portland Museum of Art

Cayuse Mother Edward Curtis Portland Museum Art

George Neptune, a Passamaquoddy basketmaker, calls the images heartbreaking. Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, director of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, says they’re challenging. And canoe maker David Moses Bridges can’t get past the sadness. “If you look into their faces you can see the sadness,” Bridges says in a recorded gallery audio tour. “You can see the pain and the suffering that they had to endure, that they are enduring at the time this photograph was taken.”

Bridges makes that observation while describing his reaction to the cream-colored photograph “Cayuse Mother and Child,” taken by Edward Curtis in 1910. It is one of two dozen images that make up the third-floor exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art, “Edward Curtis: Selections from the North American Indian,” on view through May 29.

Full story at the Portland Press-Herald.

Chronicle Talks Wabanaki Culture at Bar Harbor

george neptune chronicle bar harbor

This week, WCVB5 Boston’s popular Chronicle travel journal visited Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, where the sun first rises on the US East Coast. They spoke with Passamaquoddy George Neptune at the Abbe Museum about the culture  and the People of the Dawnland, the Wabanakiak. Watch the video – Wabanaki footage at 2:30.