Lacrosse – More Than Just A Game New Exhibition @ Institute for American Indian Studies

Lacrosse was originally played by eastern Native Americans and Canada’s First People. The Institute for American Indian Studies located at 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut has just opened a fascinating special exhibition, “More Than a Game: The Story of Lacrosse,” that will be on view at the Institute through August 2022.

This well-researched exhibition touches on a variety of subjects, many of which are unexpected in light of the game many of us know today. Some of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition relate to the spiritual importance of lacrosse and how it connects to creation stories, the way they settle differences, and its continued social and communal significance.

This exhibition also explores the appropriation of lacrosse by Euro-Americans and Canadians. In the 1860’s Dr. George Beers of Canada wrote the first standardized rulebook for lacrosse in an attempt to “civilize” the game. By the 1890s, Native American communities were banned from participating in national competitions. This part of the exhibition includes documentation in the form of newspaper clippings and images that depict the history of lacrosse in popular culture and how it was interpreted.

More Than a Game also highlights how traditional lacrosse sticks evolved in North America. Several lacrosse sticks on display showcase the three major styles of Native American lacrosse and demonstrate the different regional interpretations of the game.

This exhibit touches on the relationship between lacrosse and Native communities today. It delves into the saga of the Iroquois Nationals, the only Native American athletic team
permitted to compete in international competitions. Don’t miss the exhibition’s video that shows Native Americans making wooden sticks in the traditional way and relating why it is important to the future of their culture. This exhibit can be summed up by a quote by Rex Lyons, Onondaga, “Lacrosse is part of the story of our creation, of our identity, of who we are. So when we play the game, we always say that there’s a simultaneous game going on in the Sky World and our ancestors are playing with us.”

The Institute for American Indian Studies is open Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 3-12, $10 for seniors, and members are free.

About 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 the 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.

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.

The Pequot War and the Founding of Fairfield

The Fairfield Museum and History Center presents a new exhibition, The Pequot War and the Founding of Fairfield, 1637-1639, on view through January 18, 2015, concluding a full year of exhibits, programs and events that celebrated Fairfield’s 375th anniversary.

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A collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, this exhibit presents the story of the Pequot War in 1637, which led to Fairfield becoming established as an English settlement 375 years ago. Roger Ludlow, then a member of the Windsor Settlement, came south to join the fight. He was so taken with the area and its beauty, he returned in 1639 and founded the town of Fairfield.

An Algonquian-speaking people, the Pequot had been living in southeastern Connecticut for thousands of years prior to European contact. Before the arrival of the Europeans, roughly 13,000 Pequot lived in villages along Long Island Sound and the estuaries of the Thames, Mystic, and Pawcatuck Rivers, raising food through farming, hunting, and gathering

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The Pequot War (1637-38) was the first serious conflict in New England between European colonizers and the indigenous population. Historians have referred to the war as a seminal event in early American history, as it paved the way for English control of southern New England and the subjugation of the region’s Native people.
Among the many objects displayed in the exhibit is the sword of Captain John Mason, on loan from the Stonington Historical Society. Mason was the leader of the Connecticut troops during the Pequot War, and he most probably used this sword to fight the Pequot.

The exhibit also includes an original copy of John Underhill’s Newes from America (1638), on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society, rarely on public display. Captain John Underhill led the Mass Bay troops during the war and later published this account of the events. It is not only one of the most important primary sources of the war, but the publication also includes a remarkable woodcut of the attack on Mistick Fort that has become an iconic image. Also on view are other early 17th century examples of English arms and armor, including a helmet and matchlock gun, as well as a period bale seal and religious book, all on loan from the Plimoth Plantation.

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Also featured is a photograph of George Avison’s artwork, commissioned during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration to paint a series of five murals depicting Fairfield’s history, including one of the Swamp Fight. When he completed them in 1937, they were hung in the Roger Ludlowe High School building, now known as Tomlinson Middle School, where they remain today.

About the Fairfield Museum and History Center
The Fairfield Museum and History Center is a nonprofit, community cultural arts and education center established in 2007 by the 103-year old Fairfield Historical Society. The 13,000 square-foot museum includes modern galleries, a research library, a museum shop and community spaces overlooking Fairfield’s historic Town Green. The Fairfield Museum and History Center believes in the power of history to inspire the imagination, stimulate thought and transform society. Located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT, the Museum is open seven days a week, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors. Members of the Museum and children are free. For more information www.fairfieldhistory.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Celebrate Green Corn in Litchfield Hills

The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center in Washington CT is hosting it’s Annual Green Corn Festival on Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on the grounds of the Museum located on 38 Curtis Road. The event will be held rain or shine. Adults: $10; children: $6.

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Green Corn Festivals are held all over Native America between May and October. The events are both a celebration and a religious ceremony. They celebrate the ripening of the first corn of the year depending on geographic location. The whole idea is to give thanks to the Creator, the Great Spirit, for the corn, the rain and sun that nurture it.

Traditionally corn has been an integral part of the annual cycle of life for Native American People and this Festival celebrates the first corn of the season. Fun filled activities for the whole family including drumming, dancing, face painting, kids’ crafts, and more make this event memorable.

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Highlights of the event include exciting Native American ceremonies including traditional Eastern Woodland song & dance with the Native Nation Dancers, Schaghticoke, Objiwa and Lumbee, dancing both Northern and Southern Traditional styles. A highlight this year will be the all female drumming group, Spirit of Thunderheart of Schaghticoke, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Cree and Cherokee ancestry; other performers include musician Allan Madahbee, Ojibwa; Storyteller Janis Us, Mohawk-Shinnecock descent, and Abenaki Chef and Author, Dale Carson.

A favorite of young and old alike are the Native American folktales told by storyteller, Janis Us of Mohawk-Shinnecock descent. Kids will enjoy Native American inspired crafts and facepainting.

Two not to be missed features of the Festival are the crafts for sale by local Native American artisans and a taste of traditional cooking including Pow-wow style food for sale in the outdoor Algonkian Village hosted by Dale Carson, of Abenaki descent.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center
The focus of the Institute has always been stewardship and preservation. In 1991, the name was changed to the Institute for American Indian Studies. With the name change there was a shift in focus to include education in conjunction with research.

The ethnographic collection of the Institute for American Indian Studies contains over 6,000 cultural items. While focusing on the Eastern Woodlands Peoples, the collection represents indigenous communities throughout the western hemisphere. Items vary in raw material composition – textiles, wood, stone, clay, glass, shell and semi-precious jewels – function and style from moccasins, rugs, baskets and leggings to containers, weaponry, personal accessories, recreational objects and fine art.

The Research & Collections Building is artifact-friendly with a climate controlled vault and spacious laboratory. It is home to an abundance of collections, both ethnographic and archaeological. It also houses both an education and research library, containing over 2,000 books and journals and is open only by appointment (860-868-0518 ext.109).

For Museum hours and other special events visit: http://www.birdstone.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Native American Quill and Beadwork in Litchfield Hills

In northwest Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills, the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington is presenting a quill and bead work exhibition of Chris Bullock who is of Wampanoag descent.

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Since childhood, Chris has participated in Native American cultural events and has been crafting his own work for 47 years. He also provides educational programming on eighteenth century Native culture.

Chris oversees the daily operation of The Wandering Bull, LLC, a family business his parents began in 1969 that is located in Washington, New Hampshire. The Wandering Bull sells Native craft supplies, as well as vintage and antique Native art with a focus on the Northeast Woodlands.

The exhibit runs through November 30, 2013. There is no charge for this exhibition. Museum Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday from 12 Noon to 5pm Last admission at 4:30pm. For more information www.iaismuseum.org and for information on Litchfield Hills Connecticut www.litchfieldhills.com