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.