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.

Over There: Washington and The Great War at the Gunn Historical Society

The Gunn Memorial Museum, on 5 Wykehem Rd in Washington Connecticut has organized a new exhibition that commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War One, one of the largest and bloodiest conflicts in history, where over 70 million military personnel were mobilized around the world and more than 10 million combatants and 7 million civilians were killed, including several from Washington, CT. Over 100 men and women from Washington, and more than 150 alumni and faculty from The Gunnery served in The Great War.

WWIposter

Letters, pictures, and an interesting array of period artifacts from the museum, local families, and collectors, including Peter Tragni and Dr. Robert Jacobs, among others, are used to explore the dramatic experiences of Washington’s soldiers, along with the extensive support efforts that were happening on the home front in Washington through such organizations as the Sister Susie Society, the Red Cross, the Women’s Land Army, and the Home Guard. All of their fascinating stories will be shared in this exhibit and a diverse series of public programs (see below) through the year, sponsored in part by the Connecticut Community Foundation.

Art director Chris Zaima, designer Sandy Booth, and painter Keith Templeton, along with a team of other volunteers and staff, have created another visual masterpiece. Local history will come alive as visitors step back in time and explore the lives of Washington’s residents during World War One, through their own words, and the impact this war had on our small town.

Admission to the exhibit is free, and this exhibit will be on display through January 18, 2015. For more information, call the Museum at 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for more information or email gunnmuseum@sbcglobal.net.

On June 28 at 11 a.m. at the Gunn Library, there will be a lecture, The Beginning of the End: The Origins of World War I. Dr. Michael Nolan, a professor of European History at Western Connecticut State University, will present a lecture to mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austrian Empire, the spark that ignited World War One. On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist who was a Black Hand Terrorist as they visited the city of Sarajevo. This assassination was the catalyst of World War One, a four-year event that claimed the lives of over 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians around the globe.

assassination

Dr. Nolan will discuss the contentious years leading up to the assassination, how the events of that day unfolded, the impact the resulting war had on the 20th century, and who was really to blame for the origins of the war, the answer to which is not as clear cut as many might think and has vexed historians for the past century. Dr. Nolan is a 2001 graduate of Brandeis University and is the author of The Inverted Mirror: Mythologizing the Enemy in France and Germany, 1898-1914 (New York, Berghahn Books, 2005).

On Tuesday, July 14 & 28 and August 11 & 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the Gunn Library and Museum there will be a WWI Film Series featuring: The African Queen, A Farewell to Arms, Fly Boys, and War Horse.

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.

ChirsBullock

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

Hollister House Garden Fair

garden_2 copy

The Hollister House located in beautiful Washington Connecticut on 300 Nettleton Rd. is one of only 16 exceptional gardens currently designated a Preservation Project by the Garden Conservancy. In 2010, Hollister House achieved its listing on the National Register of Historic Places and was also named a Town Landmark Site by the Town of Washington. Hollister House Garden is beautifully situated on a gently sloping hillside behind a rambling 18th century farmhouse. The intimate outdoor spaces, bordered by dramatic hedges and the natural landscape, are lavishly planted with both familiar and exotic species and open onto stunning vistas.

The Hollister House is hosting a late summer garden fair featuring rare plants not usually available in the trade and one of a kind garden artifacts and containers will be held in the beautiful historic barn at Hollister House Garden on Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Unusual plants such as specialty peonies, hard-to-find shrubs and trees, and herbaceous perennials that are traditionally planted in the fall will be on offer from four outstanding nurseries: Broken Arrow Nursery (Hamden, CT), Cricket Hill Garden (Thomaston, CT), Falls Village (CT) Flower Farm and Opus (Little Compton, RI). Each of the knowledgeable vendors will present an informative show and tell with timely tips on late season gardening and autumn to-do’s such as dividing peonies, a task best done in September.

In addition to plants, playfully eccentric garden ornaments salvaged, restored and created by Kent, CT-based RT Facts and simply elegant Ben Wolff pots, each hand made in Goshen, CT and signed by the artist will also be available for sale.

Admission to the garden fair is $10 and includes entrance to Hollister House Garden. The $10 donation supports educational programs for the non-profit Hollister House Garden.
Hollister House Garden is also open to visitors every Saturday through September. August hours are 8 to 10 am and 3 to 6 pm; September hours are 10 am to noon and 2 to 5 pm. Information and directions to the garden’s 300 Nettleton Hollow Road location are available on the website at www.hollisterhousegarden.org or by calling 860-868-2200.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Coming to America: Washington’s Swedish Immigrants

Swedish Culture at the Gunn Museum in Washington CT
Swedish Culture at the Gunn Museum in Washington CT

The Gunn Memorial Museum on 5 Wykeham Road in Washington Connecticut is exploring its’ European roots with a new exhibit that runs through January 12, 2014 called Coming to America: Washington’s Swedish Immigrants. This exhibition shares the little-known story of Swedish immigration to this small New England town.

Known for their superior agricultural skills, 1.3 million Swedes immigrated to America during the 19th and 20th centuries, escaping conscription, famine, and poverty. Washington, Connecticut became one of their new homes, where many found employment as laborers and servants on local farms and estates owned by wealthy New Yorkers.

Swedish_Culture_Room_-_Dala_Horses

Beginning in 1870, over one hundred Swedish families settled in Washington and built two churches across the street from each other. One, the Salem Covenant Church, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Swedes made up 22% of Washington’s population in 1910, and many of their descendants still reside in town today. This exhibit tells their story.

Ellis Island Room
Ellis Island Room

The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Rt. 47, on Washington Green. The Museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Call the Museum at 860-868-7756 or view http://www.gunnlibrary.org for more information.

Twined Art at the Institute for American Indian Studies

The exhibition Woven from Milk Weed by Wabanaki Artist Vera Longtoe Sheehan opens at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut runs through May 31, 2013. There is no charge for this exhibition. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm. The last admission is at 4:30 pm.

Idle_No_More_Bag_001

Vera Longtoe Sheehan is a fiber artist who follows in the footsteps of her ancestors. When she was young, her father started teaching her how to harvest and process plants to make cordage. He also taught her the various techniques that she uses to make twined bags, baskets and textiles.

Vera combines her tribal and family knowledge with many years of researching Wabanaki history, culture and tradition to create her one of a kind twined woven items. She uses both hand-rolled and commercially rolled plant fiber cordage. Each of the hand items can take hours, days, weeks or even months to complete.

Idle_No_More_Bag_003

Her twined art is environmentally friendly because it is made from plants, which are quick growing, renewable resources. She is currently teaching her children to twine, so that this endangered art form is not lost. Some of her twined bags, baskets and textiles have appeared in films and literature.

The artist and her family reside in Vermont. She offers a variety of programs for schools, museums and historic sites.

Quiver_036

“Meet the Artist” Reception is Sunday, April 7th from 1pm -3pm. The reception includes refreshments at 2pm.

For more information about the Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Rd. in Washington CT call 860-868-0518 or visit www.iaismuseum.org. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com.