Wabanaki Arts Festival April 11

Story posted April 06, 2009

Wab_baskets_SUN.jpg
Wabanaki baskets.

Bowdoin College will sponsor the second annual Wabanaki Arts Festival Saturday, April 11, 2009.

The festival will bring to campus 25 Wabanaki crafters and artisans, a drum group, a traditional Penobscot singer, and a storyteller.

This family-oriented event is a cultural experience in music, song, and tradition, and hand-made crafts and art will be offered for sale.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the David Saul Smith Union, and is free and open to the public.

A Wabanaki drum group, the Alamoosic Lake Singers, will be playing throughout the day, offering their acclaimed blend of traditional music and contemporary powwow drumming.

Watie Akin, a Penobscot tribal elder, will also perform traditional songs he has been collecting from the four tribal communities.

John Bear Mitchell, a well-known Penobscot storyteller, will recount traditional tales from Wabanaki culture.

Artisans will include basket makers from the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribal communities. Other crafters include a Penobscot birch bark artist, jewelry makers, and root-club carvers. The root-club artisans will also offer a display that shows the history and different forms of this traditional weapon.

The Wabanaki Arts Festival has been organized to increase communication between Bowdoin and Maine's four tribal communities as part of the college's long-term commitment to encourage Wabanaki students to attend college.

Bowdoin has been working along with Bates and Colby colleges to develop outreach programs. The Wabanaki-Bates-Bowdoin-Colby Collaborative is in its second year of sending teams of faculty and students to visit 4th through 8th grade Wabanaki classrooms. The activities and discussions are meant to start students thinking about college in their future. For high school students, the WBBC Collaborative brings students and their counselors to the three college campuses.

For more information call 725-3815 or e-mail lshaw@bowdoin.edu.

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