Members of the Burnurwurbskek Singers and Dancers beat a ceremonial drum at the Native American Summer Market at Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday. Ellie Fellers photo
NEW GLOUCESTER — Thousands gathered Saturday for the daylong Native American Summer Market at Shaker Village, lured by baskets, jewelry and drumming.
Among the wares were traditional and fancy baskets made by members of the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Maliseet and Aroostook Band of Micmac tribes. The tribes collectively make up the Wabanaki Nations, People of the Dawnland.
“This is an overwhelming turnout, “said Michael Graham, director of Shaker Village. “We are thrilled with the support shown to the Wabanaki Community of Maine.”
Storyteller Geo Neptune performs at the Native American Summer Market at Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday. Ellie Fellers photo
Ethan Jacobs learned from his father Butch traditional ash-splitting of logs and with his brother Noah the pair worked in tandem demonstrating how the ash splints are harvested and separated to form the foundation of basket-making.
Passamaquoddy basket-maker and jewelry artist Gal Frey talked about her grandfather who made and sold baskets in the 1950s for $5 apiece. Her sons, Gabriel and Jeremy Frey, are award-winning basket-makers. following 11 generations of the family.
She said her son Jeremy Frey received Best in Show in 2011 at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market. He was the recipient of a $50,000 United States Artists award recently.
Jason Brown and his wife, Donna, just returned from Santa Fe where they took first and second place in the contemporary jewelry category, the first time for Wabanaki people. In addition, the pair garnered first place as designers to the largest couture in the Native American Fashion show in the world at the 98th Annual Santa Fe Market.
Basket-maker Peter Neptune sells a basket to Celia Brown of Malden, Massachusetts at the Native American Summer Market at Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday. Ellie Fellers photo
Celia Brown of Malden, Massachusetts, said she owns a basket from Passamaquoddy basket-maker Peter Neptune. She returned to his booth to add to her collection.
Elsewhere on the grounds, the Burnurwurbskek Singers and Dancers sat in a circle pounding rhythmically on a large ceremonial drum.
“Tobacco placed on the drum gives honor to the ground and honor to our ancestors,” said Ron Bear, the leader of the group. “You can feel the energy of the drum as we put the energy back into Mother Earth.”
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