The 32nd Iroquois Indian Festival — a celebration of Iroquois creativity and self expression — takes place Saturday, Aug 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, at the Iroquois Indian Museum, 324 Caverns Road, Howe’s Caverns, NY. The festival is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children.
In conjunction with the Museum’s new 2013 exhibit, IndianInk: Iroquois & the Art of Tattoos, there will be tattoo contest at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Everyone is invited to show off their tattoos with winners chosen by audience feedback. There are three contest categories: Best Male, Best Female and Best of Show.
For those too timid for a permanent tattoo, Mohawk artist Peter Tehkaraiasareh Abraham Loran will be creating free temporary airbrush tattoos for festival visitors on Saturday and Sunday. Peter is Bear Clan Mohawk from Akwesasne. He has been airbrushing for over 20 years, creating temporary tattoos using hypo-allergenic, FDA-approved ink.
The two-day festival has many other features including an all-Iroquois Indian Art Market, Iroquois social dances, Iroquois stories and a children’s tent with arts and crafts including beadwork and corn husk dolls. There also will be a wilderness skills presentation by Barry Keegan and a special Tools of the Hunt talk with Museum Educator Mike Tarbell. Local wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin presents a variety of wild animals that includes birds of prey. The Museum’s archaeology department will be available to help identify archaeological finds and to give demonstrations of flintknapping and other early technologies.
Serving as Master of ceremonies for the two-day festival is Perry Ground. He is aTurtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation. His life’s work is educating all people on the history, culture and beliefs of the Iroquois.
Details and times for additional activities are:
- ·The Sky Dancers of Six Nations. The Sky Dancers are from the Six Nations Reserve in Southern Ontario, along the Grand River. Many of the dancers are members of the Cayuga Nation. The troupe will present traditional Iroquois social dances, the increasingly popular “smoke dance,” and will be inviting audience members to join them on the dance floor. Times: 12 Noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday; 12 Noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
- ·Kay Olan — Iroquois Stories. Among the Haudenosaunee, or the “People of the Longhouse,” is the continuation of the art of storytelling. Through various kinds of narratives used in storytelling, adults pass on the Iroquois worldview to their children. Kay Olan is a Wolf Clan Mohawk teacher and traditional storyteller. Kay will share stories that have been handed down from generation to generation through the oral tradition of the Haudenosaunee. Times: 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
- ·Barry Keegan. Barry is an instructor at Hawk Circle Wilderness Education in Cherry Valley. Barry loves finding new ways to build a shelter, get fire by friction, or fine-tune a trap. Barry’s creative mind and physical coordination make him a true master. Time: 3 p.m. Saturday.
- ·Mike Tarbell – Tools of the Hunt. For more than 20 years, Mike who is Turtle Clan Mohawk, has been working at the Iroquois Indian Museum as Educator, where thousands of children come each year to hear him speak about the tools of the hunt. Time: 3 p.m. Sunday.
About the Museum
The Iroquois Indian Museum is an educational institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Iroquois culture using Iroquois art as a window to that culture. The Museum is a venue for promoting Iroquois art and artists, and a meeting place for all peoples to celebrate Iroquois culture and diversity. As an anthropological institution, it is informed by research on archaeology, history, and the common creative spirit of modern artists and craftspeople.
The Museum represents the world’s most comprehensive collection of modern Iroquois art work. This collection celebrates the ancient unity of the Iroquois still expressed in the creative spirit of today’s artists. A special interactive Children’s area introduces young visitors to Iroquois traditions through a variety of crafts, games and technologies. A guide-posted Nature Park of 45 acres is open year round for walks, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
The Museum is open through November from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949.