Wigwam Construction @ Institute for American Indian Studies July 23

A Wigwam is a type of home created from tree bark. These structures are found throughout pre-contact New England. One of the few places where you can see a replica of 16th-century wigwams in the setting of a traditional Native American village is at the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut.

On July 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. join Griffin Kalin, Educator at the Institute for American Indian Studies and Traditional Skills Expert for an interactive discussion and program about wigwam construction and the science and technology used to build them. This program will take place at the Institute’s 16th-century replicated Algonquian village that consists of several wigwams, a longhouse, a fire circle, drying racks, and the three sisters’ garden. Participants will learn what types of wood need to be harvested and the types of tools that would be used to build a wigwam. A highlight of this program is watching the actual repairs to the structures in the village to learn about this ancient process. Griffin is a wealth of knowledge and will be there to answer questions and give material demonstrations.

Pre-registration is appreciated and can be made by visiting www.iaismuseum.org to reserve a space through Eventbrite. If you have questions, call 860-868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org. This program is $5 per participant and free for members. This doesn’t include admission to the museum.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located at 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

An Ecology Walk Along the Shepaug River With the Institute for American Indian Studies

A summer walk along the Shepaug River that runs through Washington is a rewarding experience, especially when guided by IAIS Educator and Ecologist, Susan Scherf on Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m. The cost of this program hosted by the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children, and $5 for members. This hike is perfect for nature lovers and will have them looking at the natural world in a new and exciting way.

Fun on the Shepaug

The Shepaug River whose Native American name means “rocky waters” has a long history of habitation. Native Americans have lived overlooking this river for thousands of years. Many stone tools and items such as bone needles and punches, wooden spear shafts, tool handles, and much more have been found in archeological excavations along the banks of the Shepaug.

Rivers are considered the lifeline of ecosystems around the world. On this guided walk participants will learn that Native peoples traditionally recognized that all beings are interconnected. An important life lesson of this walk is to realize that we can learn about our environment by observing wildlife, plants, trees, and flowers. Summer is one of the best times to observe wildlife along the Shepaug from watching a great blue heron hunt to listening to frogs croaking, and feeling the exoskeleton of a crayfish. Walking along this babbling river Susan will discuss animal adaptations and explain what to look and listen for when trying to identify different species in the Eastern Woodland environment.

Participants should wear sturdy hiking or walking shoes, and be prepared to walk about a mile along the river with frequent stops along the way. Participants are encouraged to bring water and extra shoes or sandals to change into down by the river. Space on this hike is limited and pre-registration is required. To reserve your space visit http://www.iaismuseum.org to reserve a space through Eventbrite. If you have questions, call 860-868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org.

Learn How to Make Traditional Native American Bark Basket Workshop At Institute for American Indian Studies

Native Americans have created baskets for centuries. In fact, archeologists believe that basket-making is one of the oldest known crafts in the world. If you have always wanted to learn how to create a bark basket of your own, join this in-person workshop conducted by Jennifer Lee of Pequot and Narragansett ancestry on Sunday, June 5 at the Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut. This four-hour workshop begins at 11 a.m. and has a break for lunch.

Join artist and educator Jennifer of Lee, Narragansett descent

About Native American Baskets

Baskets have been an integral part of Native American material culture for centuries. Native American baskets range from very simple to very elaborate. Often the art of basket making was passed down from generation to generation among Native American Indian mothers to their daughters. It is a skill that takes the place of pride among many Indigenous people today.

Bark baskets made by Eastern Woodland Indians were used for cooking, gathering berries, hauling water, storing food, as cradleboards, and even for burying the dead. Most often baskets were made from pine, ash, or birch bark that was harvested in the spring when the bark was most pliable. The bark was then folded into the desired shape and sewn with spruce root and rimmed with arrowwood or other natural materials.

White Pine Bark mokok with collar (4 ½H x 7W x 3D)

About the Workshop

Jennifer Lee is an 18th-century re-enactor and material culture presenter. Bark basket making is one of the programs that she offers. “I want my programs to dispel old stereotypes and increase awareness of present-day Native Americans,” says Lee.

Participants in this workshop will learn about the lore and tradition of basket making from Lee while creating their very own bark basket. A highlight is learning about how baskets were used in everyday life and their role in Native American communities today. Lee will guide participants through the process of creating a bark basket using white pine bark, spruce root, and willow. During the scheduled lunch break (please bring your own snack and non-alcoholic beverage) participants can wander through the museum for inspiration and brainstorm with others for ideas.

White Pine Bark mokok with collar (7H x 4W x 3D).

Participants can choose from three different basket designs that include a white pine bark wall pocket, and two sizes of a white pine bark mokok with collar. Whatever basket you choose to make, it is something unique to treasure at the end of the day.

Space is limited for this workshop that is expected to sell out, so sign up early. To participate, please register and pre-pay by June 2. The cost of participation, including all materials and tools, is $75 for members of the Institute and $85 for non-members. To register click here. If you have questions call (860) 868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org.

White Pine bark wall pocket, curved bottom (7H x 7W x 4D)

About the Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Blocks of Hope and Healing Participate in a Community Quilting Project Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies has just announced a new quilting project for the month of May called “Blocks of Hope and Healing.” This community-quilting project is a way to support and bring attention to the MMIWG2S epidemic. MMIWG2S is an abbreviation for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit People, respectively.

Quilting serves as a testament to heritage and history, with each piece offering encouragement and solace. Quilts connect us to the world around us and are often symbolic of hope and comfort by providing physical and emotional warmth. The concept of this community-made quilt will be used to honor and remember the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2- Spirit People.

The Institute is inviting the public to become part of this important global movement by participating in two Quilt Workshops on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 22 @ 11 a.m. that will be conducted by Education Director, Director Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation). If you don’t have much experience sewing, no worries, Kascak, will be there to walk you through the process. If you don’t complete your quilt package during the workshop, you can complete it in the comfort of your own home as long as you return it to the Institute by Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

All participants in this project are asked to make a $25 donation to the National Indigenous Women’s Rights Council (NIWRC). The Institute will give all participants a quilt block packet, complete with all necessary materials and instructions for creating your section of the community quilt. Please call (860) 868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org to reserve your section on this community quilt, sign up for one of the quilting workshops, or if you have any questions about this initiative.
Donations to NIWRC can be made at the following link: https://www.niwrc.org/donate.

About MMIWG2S
MMIWG2S refers to initiatives intended to address the ongoing violence and continued genocide of women, girls, and Two-Spirits. Each year thousands of Native American women and children go missing or are found murdered in the United States and Canada. Gaps in data make the true scope difficult to estimate, but some sources suggest that the total number of cases may approach 10,000.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Learn How to Make Native American Leather Pouches @ Institute for American Indian Studies

A Sunday afternoon is the ideal time to learn how to make your own leather Native American style pouch on October 17 @ the Institute for American Indian Studies. This in-person small group workshop has been organized in one-hour time slots from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Under the guidance of the museum’s Education Department, you’ll learn how Native Americans used leather for clothing, pouches, bags, and other items of daily life.

Native Americans historically used leather pouches to carry many of life’s necessities. Pouches were made from a variety of materials, some were woven, and others were made from the hides of different animals, most commonly deer.

Sign up for a workshop that is both educational and engaging, as you learn how to make your very own unique and practical leather pouch that you can decorate with buttons, stones, and shells. After you have completed your project, you may find that you have a newfound appreciation for the artistry that went into making some of the artifacts in the museum’s collections.

Sign up with your friends and family to reserve a timeslot by clicking here. For questions call 860-868-0518 or email general@iaismuseum.org. The cost of participation including materials is $25 per person for non- members and $20 for members.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies
The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Located on 15 acres of woodland IAIS is home to permanent and temporary exhibits, nature trails, and a replicated 16th century Replicated Algonkian village. During the school year, over 7,000 school-age children visit for hands-on programs to learn about the Indigenous people who have called Connecticut home for thousands of years.

Native American Ceremony and Dancers Celebrate the New Algonquian Village @ Institute for Native American Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington has good reason to celebrate and you are invited to join the fun at the Algonquian Village Renewal Ceremony on October 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This is your chance to be one of the first people to visit the new revitalized Village consisting of wigwams and a longhouse and, to be part of a special Native American Smudging Ceremony by Darlene Kascak, Schaghticoke. This fascinating ceremony will cleanse the new longhouse and chase away evil spirits in the village. The Thunderbird Dancers, the oldest Native American Dance Company in New York that have performed all over the world will be on hand to perform dances of celebration in the village. This amazing dance troupe keeps alive the traditions, songs, and dances they have learned that would otherwise be lost. For those interested in how the village was actually constructed, Kalin Griffin, IAIS Educator and, primitive technologist will be on hand to talk about the techniques used to reconstruct the village using only stone tools.

Since the 1980s the replicated 16th century outdoor Native American Village at the Institute has been a favorite of visitors, students, teachers, and staff. Walking on a winding forest path leading to the village that was constructed to resemble the way a Native American community in Connecticut would have looked centuries ago is one of the most memorable aspects of a visit to the Institute. Entering the village, visitors feel transported back in time as they explore the longhouse, a cluster of wigwams, shelters, and gardens. One of the most intriguing aspects of the village is that it is made using only trees and bark and other things found in the natural environment using traditional tools and techniques. Today’s visitors to the Institute and those that plan to visit in the future will continue to enjoy this beautiful village and learn about the fascinating culture of the Eastern Woodland Indians.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.