Always in Fashion: 10,000 Years of Wabanaki Attire

wabanaki attire wiseman missisquoi

Photo credit: Donald Soctomah

Visit the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge next weekend to join a presentation by Dr. Fred Wiseman examining 10,000 years of Wabanaki clothing and accessories, the first in the 2016 Abenaki Life Program Series.

When: January 29 2016, 6-8 pm

Where: Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge, 29 Tabor Road, Swanton VT 05488 Phone 802-868-4781

Last fall, Dr. Fred Wiseman of Swanton Vermont, as well as the Wapohnaki Museum Cultural Center and the Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum, co-produced an historic fashion show in Maine.  It featured 24 of Dr. Wiseman’s original and re-created clothing outfits, based on over 25 years of study of historic and ancient Abenaki clothing, headgear, jewelry and fashion accessories.  Anyone interested in learning about a little-known facet of Vermont’s fascinating fashion history will want to join Dr. Wiseman to hear how the event went — and most importantly, how the wearing of ancestral clothing affected the young Native people who wore the attire.  This deeply moving cultural experience has much to teach indigenous people in Vermont about tribal revitalization, and points the way, perhaps, to new directions in Abenaki arts.  Dr Wiseman will share a rich slide show of reconstructed and original prehistoric and historic clothing, including that of an Ice-Age mariner on the Champlain Sea, 1600’s warriors defending their homeland, and 1920’s basket sellers at Highgate Springs.  In addition, he will share some rare examples of historic Abenaki, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy clothing that have survived until this day.  Dr. Wiseman will also preview the “Alnobak” clothing exhibit that is planned to open in June at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes.  Following the presentation there will be time for questions as well as time to view the original Abenaki clothing from Wiseman’s collection.