Maine’s Second Indian Market hosted by Abbe Museum will be even bigger


Photo: Bara Dana, former Penobscot Chief, is a skilled basket maker. He will be selling his works like these, and maple syrup at the market.

By Ramona du Houx

The Abbe Museum Indian Market is back, and bigger. The weekend-long celebration of Native art and artists is set for May 17-19 in Bar Harbor, Maine. In addition to the market and performances on the Village Green, the event will include a fashion show at the Criterion and an Indigenous Film Festival at Reel Pizza.

“The event shines a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepens the economic impact of art making for tribal communities,” event organizers said.

“Markets like this one help make it possible for artists to work full-time and make a living through art. They also help revitalize remnant art forms and make room for innovation.”

At the inaugural market last year, about 50 native basket makers, pottery makers, jewelry makers, wood carvers, painters and other artists and craftspeople from around the country sold their creation. Some were from the four Indian tribes in Maine. Several were from tribes in the Southwest. This year, many more artists will participate, bringing to total to nearly 100, representing more than 40 Native communities. The market features 20 Wabanaki artists.

During the market, native musicians and storytellers including Geo Naptune and Hawk Henries will perform. This year, the market will also include a People’s Choice and Artist’s Choice Awards competition. Winners will be selected and awarded during the Friday evening Preview Party at the museum, which begins at 5 p.m. Tickets for the party are $40.

Saturday’s fashion show, (photo from last year's) at the Criterion at 6 p.m., will highlight the work of Indigenous fashion designers who draw inspiration from their tribal identities to present their culture through a modern lens. Designers this year will include ACONAV (Acoma Pueblo/Navajo), Ingrid Brooks (Mi’kmaq), Leslie Deer (Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma), Niio Perkins (Haudenosaunee) and Dawn Spears (Narragansett).

General orchestra tickets are $12 and may be purchased from the Criterion by calling 288-0829 or visiting criteriontheatre.org. VIP tickets, which include exclusive seating and a reception after the show with the designers, are $25 and may be purchased by calling 801-4083 or visiting abbemuseum.org/indianmarket.

ON May 16th the day before the Indain Market Darren Ranco will discuss climate change impacts and adaptation priorities among Wabanaki First Nations in Maine  at 4:10 p.m. at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The lecture, part of the Seminar in Climate Change 2019 Speaker Series, will be held in McCormick Lecture Hall.

“Indigenous people will be impacted by climatic change in significant ways. In this talk, Ranco examines current and future climate change impacts to the Wabanaki Confederacy and their climate adaptation priorities,” said event organizers.

Ranco, a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, is an associate professor of anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine. He has a master’s degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School and a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University.

His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous science, diplomacy, and critiques of liberalism to protect natural and cultural resources. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance.