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.

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An Establishment for the Indian Dance

algonquian dance circle

“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