Native American Green Corn Festival August 3 @ Institute for American Indian Studies

The Green Corn Ceremony is one of the most important celebrations in Native American life because corn is an integral part of religious and ceremonial life that brings communities together. The Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is holding their 15th annual Green Corn Festival on August 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to observe this time treasured tradition.

Join Museum Staff, Members, and Friends as they welcome the first corn of the season with music, drumming, dancing, children’s activities, stories by a professional Native American Storyteller, and much more! Wander the trails to our 16th century replicated village, tour our museum to learn about Native Cultures, check out the crafts in our gift shop, and try your hands at corn-centric crafts. A special treat is the powwow styled food such as frybread that is not to be missed.

A special highlight planned for this year’s event is a performance of the Native Nations Dance Troupe led by Erin Lamb Meeches, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. These traditional dances evoke the beauty, honor, and tradition of Native People.

About Green Corn

The expression “Green Corn” refers to the first ripened sweet corn that you can eat. The Green Corn Ceremony is marked with dancing, feasting, fasting, and religious observations. In the Eastern Woodlands Native people depended on three staples – corn, beans, and squash. These food items were called “The Three Sisters.” The Three Sisters were mixed together to make a vegetable dish called succotash that is still popular today.

Admission for this event, held rain or shine is $10 for Adults; $8 seniors; and $6 for Children.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village and 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 in Washington Connecticut.

Native American Drum Making Workshop at The Institute for American Indian Studies

The most important Native American instrument was and still is the drum. Most Native Americans prefer to use drums made from traditional materials made by a master drum maker or make their own. This is because of the strong spiritual associations of the drum….it is the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

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Indigenous peoples made several kinds of drums; log drum, water drum and the most common, the hand drum. Hand drums could be single or double-headed. In the northeast region they were traditionally made using a wooden base and an animal hide; typically deer or elk.

The drum is considered to be the first musical instrument used by humans; historians believe the drum has been virtually every culture known to mankind. The original purpose was for communicating over long distances as a type of signal.

On Saturday, February 23 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Allan Madahbee, Ojibway artist and musician, will instruct participants in making their own single-face drum while sharing the importance of the drum in Native American culture. This workshop is recommended for cildren ages 12 and up. The workshop fee is $150; $125 IAIS Members. Reservations and a $50 nonrefundable deposit is required by calling 860-868-0518. The museum is located on 38 Curtis Rd. in Washington Connecticut. For additional information www.iaismuseum.org. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

IAIS is a Not-For-Profit organization. We do not receive monies from the State, Town of Washington nor any other museum or gaming facility. We reply on membership, programs and contributions for support.

Winter happenings at The Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies is offering a series of January events that will help families warm up to this chilly season of the year. On Tuesdays through February 12 from 10:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. for example pre-school children will enjoy the wonders and joy of traditional Native American stories. Why does Bear have a short tail? Who is Gluskabi and from where did his superpowers come? And why is Coyote known as a “trickster?” An added treat is that the stories are told in a beautifully replicated 16th century indoor Sachem’s house. The story hour is included free with regular museum admission of $5 Adults; $4.50 Seniors; $3 Kids; IAIS Members Free. www.iaismuseum.org

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On Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20 at 2 p.m. guests will enjoy a Winter Film Festival that features a documentary called Reel Injun. Native American peoples have long been a topic in Hollywood filmmaking, but the picture presented of them was not always flattering or accurate. Most westerns of Hollywood’s Golden Age presented “Indians” as either ruthless savages with no sense of honor or fools who were lost without the help of the white man. Adding insult to injury, they were usually played by white actors in make up. In the 1960s movies began to show a more positive and realistic portrayal of American Indians and Native American actors were given a greater opportunity to present their story in television and the movies. Director Neil Diamond (a member of Canada’s Cree community) offers a look at the past, present and future of Native People on the big screen in this documentary. The film is included free with regular museum admission of $5 Adults; $4.50 seniors; $3 Kids; IAIS Members Free. www.iaismuseum.org

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Also on January 26 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. it is time to put on your winter boots and go on a Winter Tracking Walk. Certified wildlife tracker Andy Dobosof Three Red Trees School of Natural Living will lead you through the winter woods to discover how the animals live in this stark time of year. He will also demonstrate some of the skills ancient people employed to survive during the winter months. Fee: $8 Adults; $6 IAIS Members; $4 Children. www.iaismuseum.org

About IAIS
Through discovery, research and education, the Institute for American Indian Studies enriches contemporary society by engaging the public and making more visible the history, cultural values, beliefs and living traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere, especially those of the Northeast. With its museum, archaeology, research and unique collection, IAIS creates a focal point for the community by preserving the knowledge of the continuing stories of these indigenous peoples.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com