Tag Archives: Iroquois

Native Artisans at the Fenimore Art Museum


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The Fenimore Art Museum welcomes five Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists this summer to spend three days in the museum galleries and outdoors at our Native American interpretive site, Otsego: A Meeting Place. Engaging conversations with these artists offer a delightful, insightful way to learn about traditional Native American art skills that have been handed down for generations.

June 18-20: In addition to traditional pottery, Natasha Smoke Santiago, a self-taught artist, casts the bellies of pregnant women and then forms the casts into sculptural objects incorporating Haudenosaunee craft techniques. She will be creating pottery on site and sharing its relationship to Haudenosaunee tradition and stories.

July 17-19: Penelope S. Minner is a fourth-generation traditional artist making black ash splint baskets and cornhusk dolls. Working in the customary Seneca way, Penny uses no forms for basket shapes and sizes.

August 5-7: Karen Ann Hoffman creates beautiful decorative pieces following the traditions of Iroquois raised beadwork and embodying Iroquoisworldviews.

August 21-23: Ken Maracle creates beads from quahog shells and has been making reproduction wampum belts for more than 25 years. He also makes condolence canes, horn rattles, water drums, and traditional headdresses. He speaks the Cayuga language and is knowledgable about the history of wampum and his people.

August 30-September 1: Iroquois sculptor Vincent Bomberry carves images of Iroquois life in stone.

Artisans will be in the museum galleries and at Otsego: AMeeting Place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During the Artisan Series, visitors can explore the extraordinary Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, a collection of over 800 objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures. Tours of Otsego: A Meeting Place and its Seneca Log House and Mohawk Bark House are also available.

Admission: adults and juniors (13-64) is $12.00; seniors (65+): $10.50; and free for children (12 and under). Admission is always free for NYSHA members, active military, and retired career military personnel. Members enjoy free admission all year.

For more information, visit FenimoreArtMuseum.org.

Iroquois Indian Museum Prepares Opening, Events


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The Iroquois Indian Museum opens for its 2012 season on May 1 with a new exhibit and special events planned throughout the year. From May 1 until the closing day on November 30, the Museum hosts the exhibition, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott. Continue reading

Iroquois Beadwork at the ‘Art of Flowering’ Talk


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The Adirondack Museum’s fifth 2012 Cabin Fever Sunday series program, “Inventing Fashion: Iroquois Beadwork at the ‘Art of Flowering'” will be held on Sunday, March 18, 2012. The event will be offered free of charge.

In the mid-19th century, New York State officials began to collect Iroquois material culture, intending to preserve remnants of what they saw as a vanishing race. At the same time, Iroquois women were discovering that their beadwork was appealing to the fashionable Victorian women flocking to Niagara Falls and Saratoga Springs on the Grand Tour of America.

This multimedia presentation by Dr. Deborah Holler traces the historic development of Iroquois beadwork and costume, which came to define the public image of “Indian-ness” around the world. Images are drawn from the collections of the Lewis Henry Morgan and Rochester museums, as well as private collections. These images also illuminate the contributions of the Iroquois to the textile arts, as well as the complex cultural exchange that defined the fashions of 19th century New York State.

Dr. Deborah Holler is a Lecturer and Mentor at Empire State College and teaches in Cultural Studies, Literature and the Arts. Her articles and creative writing have been published in regional and national magazines as well as academic journals. She has presented her lectures at national and international conferences, historical societies, and cultural events throughout New York State and is currently working on projects concerning the life and times of 19th century Seneca Caroline G. Parker Mountpleasant.

This program will be held at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, and will begin at 1:30 p.m. For additional information, call (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

Photo: Pincushion, typical of souvenir made for tourists by Eastern woodland Indians. From the collection of the Adirondack Museum.

Four Indian Kings Lecture in Albany Thursday


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On Thursday, November 17, the State University of New York Press will present the Third Annual John G. Neihardt Lecture, featuring a talk by renowned novelist, historian, and lifelong dream explorer Robert Moss. Co-sponsored by the Albany Institute of History & Art, the event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Albany Institute, located at 125 Washington Avenue in downtown Albany. The program will begin at 4:00 pm and a reception will follow the lecture.

Moss will begin his lecture, “Four Indian Kings, Dream Archaeology, and the Iroquois Struggle for Survival on the New York Frontier,” with a bit of entertainment by following the adventures of Four Indian Kings at the court of Queen Anne in 1710 as they are taken to see Macbeth and to a horrible scene of bear-baiting. He will then discuss his own development of a discipline he calls dream archaeology which involves reclaiming authentic knowledge of ancestral traditions through a combination of careful research, active dreamwork, and shamanic journeying across time and between dimensions. He will end his lecture by delving into the Iroquois struggle for survival before the American Revolution.

Born in Australia, Robert Moss is the bestselling author of nine novels, including his Cycle of the Iroquois (Fire Along the Sky, The Firekeeper, and The Interpreter) and nine nonfiction books on dreaming, shamanism, and imagination, including Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, and The Secret History of Dreaming. A former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University, magazine editor and foreign correspondent, he spent seven years researching the background to his Cycle of the Iroquois, walking the battlefields of the French and Indian War, studying the languages, traditions, and spiritual practices of the Iroquois and their neighbors, and mining documentary sources. He gives lectures and seminars all over the world. Moss lives in upstate New York.

John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) was the celebrated author of many books of poetry, fiction, and philosophy. His work includes The River and I; Man-Song; and the legendary Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux all of which are available from SUNY Press. The John G. Neihardt Lecture was established by Coralie Hughes, Neihardt’s granddaughter, in honor of his legacy.

For more information on SUNY Press and the Neihart Lecture can be found online.

Photo: Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, one of the “Four Indian Kings” who traveled to London in 1710. The print, by John Verelst, is entitled “Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, Emperor of the Six Nations.” The title “Emperor” was a bit of a stretch, he belonged to the council of the Mohawk tribe, but not to that of the Iroquois Confederacy as a whole.

8th Contemporary Iroquois Art Biennial Opening


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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will host the 8th Contemporary Iroquois Art Biennial: 4 Artists Under 30 – opening Saturday, August 27. The exhibition will feature the work of four young women from the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, Confederacy: Lauren Jimerson (Seneca); Awenheeyoh Powless (Onondaga); Leah Shenandoah (Oneida); and Natasha Smoke Santiago (Mohawk). The exhibition was organized by guest curator G. Peter Jemison and will be on view through December 31, 2011.

These four young women are influenced by their heritage as Haudenosaunee but have also sought unique ways to express their individual vision – incorporating music, three dimensional objects, castings, as well as traditional methods to bring their work to life.

Awenheeyoh Powless, a recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, has incorporated Iroquois music and traditional dance steps to create paintings with her feet on un-stretched canvas – using foot movements to apply the acrylic colors.

Leah Shenandoah, another recent graduate of RIT, has focused on three dimensional objects that are across between sculpture and painting. The objects are made of stretched fabric on a wire frame to which paint has been applied as a stain. They are exhibited hung from the gallery’s ceiling in a grouping.

Lauren Jimerson, currently in her final year at RIT, uses pastel on paper to create portraiture.

Natasha Smoke Santiago, a self-taught artist who has been actively exhibiting her art since she was a teenager, casts the bellies of pregnant women and then forms the casts into sculptural objects incorporating traditional Haudenosaunee craft techniques. The bellies are turned into pottery or elaborate baskets with materials resembling splints.

Image: Pastel on paper by Haudenosaunee artist Lauren Jimerson.

Lecture: Red Jacket, Role of Six Nations in War of 1812


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Dr. Alan S. Taylor, a renowned and award-winning author and historian, will be at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society‘s history museum this Saturday, November 13, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., for a talk entitled “Red Jacket and the Role of the Six Nations in the War of 1812.” Local interest is mounting for the 2012 bicentennial of the War of 1812. In addition, the museum currently has an exhibit exploring Red Jacket in the context of John Mix Stanley’s monumental painting “The Trial of Red Jacket.”


Taylor is the author of six American history books, and has won the Pulitzer, Beveridge, and Bancroft prizes for his scholarly writing. His newest release is titled The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies (Random House). The book is available at the museum gift shop, and the author will be available to sign copies of it after the lecture.

Taylor is currently serving as a visiting professor, holding the prestigious Douglas Southall Freeman Chair in History at the University of Richmond, Virginia; he has been a professor of American History at University of California at Davis since 1994.

The lecture program is in support of the History Museum’s current exhibit, “Fact, Fiction and Spectacle: The Trial of Red Jacket,” which uses as its starting point the huge canvas by John Mix Stanley. Attendees to the lecture are encourage to view the exhibit, which is in the Museum’s lower floor gallery, when they are here for the lecture.

29th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival


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The Iroquois Indian Museum of Howes Cave, New York, has announced the 29th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 4 through Sunday, September 5. The two-day festival’s goal is to foster a greater appreciation and deeper understanding of Iroquois culture through presentations of Iroquois music and social dance, traditional stories, artwork, games and food. This year’s master of ceremonies will be Museum Educator, Mike “Rohrhá:re” Tarbell, a member of the Turtle Clan from the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Nation. Continue reading

"Epic Stories of the Iroquois" at the Adirondack Museum


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The Iroquois people are the original residents of what is now New York State. There were five tribes in the first Confederacy: the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Cayuga. Eventually, a sixth nation, the Tuscarora tribe, joined the confederation.

On Sunday, March 14, 2010, Mohawk storyteller Darren Bonaparte will share stories and recount the great legends of the Rotinonhsion:ni (Iroquois) Confederacy including “The Creation Story” and “The Great Peacemaker” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York. The program, “Epic Stories of the Iroquois,” is part of the popular Cabin Fever Sunday series.

Darren Bonaparte is a storyteller, Mohawk historian, artist, teacher, and maker of wampum belts from Akwesasne. He is the author of Creation and Confederation: The Living History of the Iroquois as well as A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha.

Bonaparte is a former elected chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. His articles have been published in Aboriginal Voices, Winds of Change, The Nation, and Native American magazine. He is also the creator of “The Wampum Chronicles: Mohawk Territory on the Internet” at www.wampumchronicles.com.

The presentation will be held in the Auditorium, and will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. Cabin Fever Sunday programs are offered at no charge to museum members. The fee for non-members is $5.00. There is no charge for children of elementary school age or younger. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, please call the Education Department at (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit the museum’s web site at
www.adirondackmuseum.org .

Also on March 14, the Adirondack Museum Education Department will hold an Open House for Educators from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Area teachers are invited to visit the Mark W. Potter Education Center to discover the variety of hands-on programs available for students in Pre-K through grade 12. All are designed to meet curricular needs. Educators can learn about the museum’s School Membership program and enter to win a day of free outreach classes for their school. For more information, contact Christine Campeau at (518) 352-7311, ext. 116 or ccampeau@adkmuseum.org.

Photo: Darren Bonaparte with wampum.

Iroquois Indian Museum’s Free Fall Party, Nov. 14


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The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY invites everyone to attend a FREE Fall Party on Saturday, November 14 from 3 to 6 P.M. This year’s annual Fall Party kicks off a celebration of the Museum’s 30th anniversary. Visitors can enjoy our current exhibit: “Native Americans in the Performing Arts: From Ballet to Rock and Roll”, view a special tribute display to the late Ray Fadden, play Clan Animal Bingo for prizes, and sample the tasty refreshments. Continue reading

Iroquois Museum To Present Haudenosaunee Artists


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On Sunday, October 4 at 2 P.M., the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY will present a lecture by Dr. Robert Spiegleman entitled, “Spirits Return – Inspired Images by Haudenosaunee Artists.” Dr. Spiegleman’s talk centers around a 2008 exhibition that featured works by five Haudenosaunee painters – Peter Jemison, Carson Waterman, David Fadden, John Fadden and Tracey Shenandoah. Continue reading

1779 Sullivan-Clinton Expedition Against the Iroquois


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After the 1779 Continental Army Sullivan-Clinton Expedition devastated the land of the Iroquois, the people of the Six Nations would forever remember its author, General George Washington, as the “Town Destroyer.” Sunday September 20, at 1:30 PM, the New Windsor Cantonment on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill) in the Town of New Windsor, will host a multi-media presentation “New York’s Missing Link: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now.” The lecture by Dr. Robert Spiegelman is free.

From 3:30 – 5:00 PM, visitors can interact with Revolutionary War re-enactors portraying the people involved in this historical event and see them fire muskets and a cannon. Admission is free. For more information please call (845) 561-1765. New Windsor Cantonment is located on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill Road) in the Town of New Windsor, four miles east of Stewart Airport. It is three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, New York.

In June and July 1779, General George Washington, from his New Windsor, New York Headquarters, gave final orders to General John Sullivan, at Easton, Pennsylvania, and General James Clinton, in the Mohawk Valley, to launch the biggest operation, to date, against Native Peoples in North American history. Because of this expedition and subsequent punitive treaties, most of the Iroquois were uprooted from their homelands, which cleared the way for the Erie Canal and Westward Expansion. Strikingly, though Sullivan/Clinton has the most historical markers in New York, it has been nearly forgotten. Spiegelman’s tour-de-force combines fresh research, dramatic visuals and unique animated maps to answer why. It introduces the Campaign’s dark origins, key players, main events, tragic and victorious aftermaths, and lasting results. Beyond the military operation, he shows its impact on native culture, the land and today’s environment. Back from the “memory hole,” Sullivan/Clinton becomes an essential lens on New York and American history. Agreeing with David McCullough that making history boring is a “crime,” Spiegelman unveils Sullivan/Clinton as high drama with present-day impact. For more, please visit www.sullivanclinton.com

Dr. Robert Spiegelman is the president of Real-View Media. As a sociologist, multimedia artist and writer, Spiegelman presents widely on New York, Iroquois, Irish and environmental themes. The founder of SullivanClinton.com and Derryveagh.com, Spiegelman revisits hidden histories that link past and present, and fosters indigenous values of peace, democracy and nature-in-balance. A college teacher for 12 years, he holds a Doctorate in Sociology from CUNY Graduate Center.

The event is co-sponsored by the recreated, Continental Army, 3rd New York Regiment which served in Clinton’s Brigade during the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition. The living historians are members of the Brigade of the American Revolution, an international organization dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the War for Independence, 1775-1783. The remarkable variety of dress worn by participants provides a living window to the past. Green-coated Loyalists and British regulars in red. Among the Patriot forces, you will find both Continentals and militia, dressed in coats that were blue, gray, brown or whatever color happened to be available at the time. Some had no recognizable uniform at all.

In addition to the special programs and activities, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment Visitor Center will be open. These buildings feature the story of the Purple Heart, the history of the New Windsor Cantonment, Revolutionary War artifacts and the exhibit The Last Argument of Kings, Revolutionary War Artillery. A picnic grove is available and there is plenty of free parking. Just one mile from the Cantonment is Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Elegantly furnished by John and Catherine Ellison, the 1754 mansion served as headquarters for Revolutionary War Generals Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, and Horatio Gates. Also be sure to visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, a short drive from the New Windsor Cantonment.

28th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival Sept. 5-6


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The Iroquois Indian Museum of Howes Cave, New York, announces the 28th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival to be held on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 5 through Sunday, September 6. The two-day festival’s goal is to foster a greater appreciation and deeper understanding of Iroquois culture through presentations of Iroquois music and social dance, traditional stories, artwork, games and food. This year’s master of ceremonies will be Museum Educator, Mike Wahrare Tarbell, a member of the Turtle Clan from the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Nation. Continue reading