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Celebrating Maine’s Wabanaki peoples

Posted by Jan Shepherd  July 5, 2012 07:27 AM

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jeremyfrey2-1.jpg
Double the pleasure this weekend July 6-8 in Bar Harbor with Abbe Museum events and exhibits celebrating Maine’s Wabanaki peoples.

On Friday a free public reception (4-6 p.m.) salutes the five young artists in “Transcending Tradition: The Next Generation and Maine Indian Basketry,” an exhibit that opened in late May at the Abbe Museum. A showcase for contemporary ash-splint and sweet grass baskets of Jeremy Frey, Ganessa Bryant, Sarah Sockbeson, George Neptune and Eric “Otter” Bacon, the exhibit weaves together their stories and Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet roots.

The next day the College of the Atlantic on the outskirts of town hosts the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. A show and sale by members of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, the event also features Wabanaki wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls and other hand crafted items. Singing, traditional dances, and food round out the free festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

On Sunday, the museum opens “Indians & Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s.” Focusing on the island’s role in the cultural and economic survival of Wabanaki peoples, the exhibit examines their seasonal interactions with rusticators (summer residents from the Northeast’s urban areas).

Among exhibit faces is Frank “Big Thunder” Loring, a Penobscot showman who was part of the scene for 60 years. The exhibit is up through Dec. 28.

Photo of Jeremy Frey basket courtesy of Hudson Museum


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