Monday, July 20, 2015

Pocumtuck Homelands Festival 2015 (MA)

The Pocumtuck Homelands Festival 2015, a celebration of Native American art, music, and culture, will take place on Saturday, August 1, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., at Unity Park Waterfront, 1st Street, Turners Falls, MA, The event will feature activities that appeal to all ages, including children. 
  There will be music and vendors, a wigwam and tipi to visit, an authentic birch bark canoe to examine, storytelling, traditional games, and primitive skills demonstrations! The festival is free and handicapped accessible.
  Apache storyteller Loril Moondream (pictured above) of Medicine Mammals will present two sessions of spellbinding tales from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Medicine Mammals are also bringing traditional Native American children’s games that will be available throughout the day. There will be one session of children’s crafts ($2 fee) from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. All of these activities will take place at the tipi.  
 Also: “Native American/Colonial Artifacts & Stone Structures ‘Road Show’”
   Invited Experts in the fields of archaeology and Native American/historic stone structures will be present at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival on Saturday, August 1, to interpret and analyze submissions of actual artifacts and photos of stone structures found in the region. Archaeologist Dr. Kevin McBride and researchers James and Mary Gage, all experts in pre-contact and colonial period New England, will offer their opinions and illuminate the significance of the evidence brought to them. This unusual offering will be part of a full day of entertaining and educational events at Unity Park Waterfront in Turners Falls, MA, from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. All are welcome to participate.
   Kevin McBride, Ph. D., is Director of Research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, and Project Director for Battlefields of King Philip’s War. He and other members of the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program research team are working with the Town of Montague, several area town historic commissions, and five Northeastern tribes to gather information about the Great Falls/ Wissatinnewag-Peskeompskut area.
   Mary and James Gage (mother & son) have been researching stone structures in the Northeastern United States since 1992. Their research has focused on Native American ritual stone structures and landscapes as well as on historic agricultural farm structures, and stone quarrying technology and methods. They have authored journal articles, books and documentaries.
   The Battlefield Protection Program seeks to compile information about the events of King Philip’s War and include both the Tribal and Yankee perspectives. The Gage’s have documented many dozens of ancient and varied stone monuments throughout New England which they often recognize as parts of a vast ritualized landscape. Part of the mission of the Nolumbeka Project, the non-profit organization hosting this event, is “to promote a deeper, broader, and more accurate depiction of the history of the Native Americans/American Indians of New England before and during European contact and colonization.” The purpose of the annual festival is to entertain and educate and to reveal more of the often unrepresented side of the early history of the Native civilization. 
The full schedule can be found

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