Maine Indian Basketmakers Sale

The 2009 Maine Indian Basketmakers Association sale and demonstration is set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine. The event, sponsored by the UMaine Hudson Museum, is free and open to the public.

The annual holiday event features Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot basketmakers, who sell handmade, one-of-a-kind, ash splint and sweetgrass baskets. Work baskets, such as creels, pack and potato baskets, and fancy baskets ranging from strawberry- and blueberry-shaped baskets also will be on display and for sale.

Curly bowls, quill jewelry, wood carvings and birchbark work round out the handcrafted items that will be available to shoppers.

Traditional foods served by the Penobscot Nation Boys and Girls Club, music, demonstrations of brown ash pounding, basketmaking, carving and birchbark work, as well as traditional drumming and dancing will be presented.

The schedule of events is:

• 9 a.m., event opens to the public.

• 9:30 a.m., welcoming ceremony with Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis and traditional greeting songs with Watie Akins of the Penobscots.

• 10-11:30 a.m., book signing with Kathleen Mundell, author of “North by Northeast: Wabanaki, Akwesasne Mohawk, and Tuscarora Traditional Arts.”

• 10 a.m., brown ash pounding and work basket demonstration with Micmac Eldon Hanning.

• 10:30 a.m., fancy basket demonstration with award-winning Penobscot basketmaker Barbara Francis.

• 11 a.m., Penobscot beadworking demonstration with Jennifer Sapiel Neptune.

• 11:30 a.m., moose-calling demonstration with Penobscot Barry Dana.

• 11 a.m.-1 p.m., traditional foods, featuring hull corn soup, fry bread and blueberry desserts. Food sales benefit the Penobscot Nation Boys and Girls Club.

• Noon, rootclub demonstration with Penobscot master carver Stan Neptune.

• 1 p.m., children’s story time with Donald Soctomah, author of “Remember Me: Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt.”

• 1 p.m., traditional Passamaquoddy medicine with Fredda Paul.

• 2-4 p.m., Burnurwurbskek Singers with drumming, singing and dancing.

• 4 p.m., drawing for the Hudson Museum Friends Maine Indian Basket Raffle. This year’s basket was made by National Heritage Fellow Award winner Clara Keezer. Tickets are $5 each.

For more about Black ash basketry visit BasketMakers.com If you attend this event, please post your reflections in the comments.

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