NEW GLOUCESTER — The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester transformed with the artistic traditions of Maine Native American tribe members for the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration Saturday in a daylong event drawing hundreds to the historic landmark.

The summer market was sponsored in part by the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission.

The Burnurwurbskek Singers and Wabanaki Dancers brought their traditional sounds and songs with pounding drums and fancy dancing by members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Maliseet tribes, members of the Wabanaki Confederacy of Maine.

This event brings tribe members on a trip to southern Maine for makers of fine fancy traditional baskets, jewelry, dolls, root clubs and birch bark artistry.

Butch Jacobs of the Penobscot Nation demonstrated ash splint pounding from a brown ash log from the woods to be the key ingredient for making traditional baskets.  

“The paths of the Shakers and the tribes has crisscrossed Maine over time for centuries,” Jacobs said. 

Fred Tomah of Houlton, member of the Maliseet Nation, said his baskets are made entirely from ash he finds, which he splits into splines and forms into his traditional fancy baskets, many of which honor the Arctic butterfly found on Mount Katahdin.  

Family members who are following her path to preserve traditional basketmaking flanked Molly Neptune Parker, a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts award. Her grandson, George Neptune, recently won a second-place award in Santa Fe for his basketmaking artistry. Neptune, a traditional storyteller, told the creation story to the audience.

Hanks of freshly harvested sweetgrass, intricate beadwork, birch-bark baskets, maple syrup and fancy baskets, needlework and handcrafted jewelry and dolls were on display.

Mary Snell of Gorham attended in search of another basket to add to her collection that began with her grandmother’s baskets being passed on to her.

“I had a feeling I would find a basket,” she said.

Penobscot Nation members Butch Philips, Gayle Philips and Cheryl Francis of Indian Island, danced wearing traditional regalia to the beat of the drums while hundreds flanked them in awe.

This is the most southern destination for the tribes who traditionally go to Bar Harbor, the Common Ground Fair and the Hudson Museum in Orono.

George Neptune tells the audience a story of the tribes’ beliefs at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Fred Tomah of the Maliseet Nation displays his Arctic butterfly basket at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Molly Neptune Parker’s booth can be seen at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Butch Jacobs pounds brown ash log at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Barry and Lori Dana display birch bark items at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

George Neptune of the Passamaquoddy Nation fabricates jewelry at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday. He is an award-winning basketmaker as well as a storyteller.

Butch Philips, member of the Penobscot Nation, displays birch-bark items at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Butch Philips, Gayle Philips and Cheryl Francis dance to the drums at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Brown and Deconte jewelry can be seen at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

Drummers and dancers can be seen at the ninth annual Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester on Saturday.

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