NEW GLOUCESTER — Celebrating the 10th Maine Native American Summer Market at the historic Shaker Village, more than 40 members of Maine’s Native American tribes will gather and showcase their artistic traditions from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

The annual event, free of charge to the public, offers an opportunity to purchase museum-quality crafts directly from Maine’s finest Wabanaki artists, nationally recognized and honored for their role in the preservation of important traditions, said Michael Graham, director of the Shaker Museum and Library.

Brother Arnold Hadd, leader and spokesman for the Shakers, said he sees great value in the market, saying it represents “a recognition of equality of peoples and the importance of preserving identity and traditions.”

Arnold noted, “We are continuing a tradition begun by the founders of our community to build good relationships with the native peoples around us. We, the Shakers, appreciate the tremendous efforts required to sustain traditions, culture and community. It does not happen automatically, but rather with cooperation, determination, vision and most of all, support.”

He added, “We felt that we are helping to give the Wabanaki people a voice and presence in southern Maine, where few people regularly have the opportunity to interact with, and learn from native people. We know firsthand the importance of learning and experiencing directly from the source.”

Graham said the crafts presented — basket-making, stone-carving, woodcarving, birch bark-etching, doll-making, beadwork and jewelry — “are among Maine’s oldest, enduring and most unique traditions passed down through generations of Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet artists.”


These century-old art forms are practiced today by a small but growing number of Maine’s Wabanaki people, nationally recognized as the keepers of at-risk cultural traditions.

“The Shakers’ mission values the equality of all people of all races, creeds and religions,” says Graham.

“Shaker leaders even published messages urging people not to interfere with native communities or their leadership, respecting that they had a cultural system that sustained identity, order and values of the people,” Graham said.

He said the event “represents an expression of the identity of the people, their art, creativity, vitality and even their ancestry. It reflects life, perseverance and adaptability. And it represents a tie that brings people together and makes them part of a community. These are principles that are also valued in Shaker culture.”

In addition to sales at the market, demonstrations will include traditional storytelling by Geo Neptune, performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling by the Burnurwurbskek Singers, and dancers from the Penobscot Nation.

Barbecue dinner plates will be for sale to the public while supplies last.


For more information go to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village on Facebook or to and click on events.

Geo Neptune of the Passamaquoddy tribe tells a story at a previous Maine Native American Summer Market. The 10th annual celebration will be held Saturday at Shaker Village, Route 26, New Gloucester. (Courtesy of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village)

Fred Tomah is one of the only Maliseet basketmakers in Maine. A master basketmaker, he has been making brown ash baskets for nearly 35 years. (Courtesy of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village)

Attendees to the Maine Native American Summer Market at Shaker Village are encouraged to learn and participate in traditional Wabanaki dance and song, usually led by the Burnurwurbskek Singers and dancers from the Penobscot Nation. (Courtesy of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village)

Pam Outdusis Cunningham of the Penobscot tribe combines traditional designs and themes with contemporary materials and techniques for her work. (Courtesy of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village)

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