28th Iroquois Festival starts Saturday


The Iroquois Indian Museum will hold its 28th annual Iroquois Indian Festival on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6.
The two-day festival’s goal is to foster a greater appreciation and deeper understanding of Iroquois culture through presentations of music and social dance, traditional stories, artwork, games and food.
This year’s master of ceremonies will again be Museum Educator Mike Wahrare Tarbell, a member of the Turtle Clan from the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Nation.
The annual festival centers on the celebration of Iroquois creativity and self-expression by featuring an all-Iroquois Indian Art Market, open to Iroquois artists by special invitation only.
Both traditional and contemporary arts are showcased.
This year celebrates the return of Santee Smith (Mohawk, Turtle Clan).
Ms. Smith is from the Six Nations Reserve, where she has gained recognition as both a performing artist (dance) and as a visual artist (pottery).
She will be presenting excerpts from her two major works, “Kaha:wi” and “A Story Before Time.”
Ms. Smith will be performing with Emily Law and, for the first time, with her daughter, Semiah Smith.
The Sky Dancers from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario will perform traditional Iroquois social dances, and may invite the public out onto the dance floor to participate as well.
The Children’s Tent will feature arts and crafts activities, including beadwork and cornhusk doll making.
Local wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin will be available to discuss wildlife conservation. She will present a variety of wild animals including birds of prey along with a special presentation in the Museum’s outdoor amphitheater.
Pamela Brown “Wolf Teacher” will return to promote understanding and awareness of wolves and the importance of their survival with a display of educational and informational materials and fundraising items.
Other special features include displays and demonstrations on genealogy, archeology, and flintknapping led by talented and knowledgeable Iroquois Museum volunteers.
Food is an important part of any culture, and a full array of Native foods will be available for purchase provided by Frank and Pam Ramsey from Onondaga.
Traditional entrees include buffalo burgers, Indian tacos, venison sausage, roasted corn soup and frybread.
The Festival will be held at the Iroquois Indian Museum on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm each day, rain or shine.
Performances will take place in the Museum’s outdoor covered amphitheater and the artists participating in the art-market will be set up in adjacent tents.
The Festival is made possible with the support of friends and members, some of whom include The New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the following local businesses: The Times Journal, Middleburgh Telephone Company, Schoharie Valley Veterinary Clinic, Kintz Plastics. Inc., HARVA, Sterling Insurance, Bank of Richmondville, and NBT Bank.
There is a fee for entrance to the Festival grounds.
For more information, call the Museum at 296-8949, or go to the Museum’s website

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