Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Akwesasne Cultural Center Museum - Part 1

I'd planned a trip to the Akwesasne Cultural Center for a long time but kept putting it off. Finally, one cold and rainy day, I drove to Hogansburg, New York on the border of the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation to take a look:

Black ash splint and sweetgrass basketry is an important part of Akwesasne heritage, and the museum had lots of examples. That small red one was called a strawberry basket for obvious reasons:

The Akwesasne community is part of the Mohawk Nation and the Cultural Center had a library upstairs and a museum/gift shop downstairs. The exhibits held lots of extra bits of information like this one:

More basketry:

This Bald Eagle was carved from antler by a Mohawk master carver from the Six Nations territory in Ontario:

And there was an entire display case of Mohawk cradle boards, including a drawing which showed how they were used:

Another cradle board:

And yet another cradle board:

More baskets, with an explanation of the cultural importance of black ash and sweetgrass basketry plus the environmental conservation movement to protect these native materials, especially since the appearance of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer:

The partridge, or Ruffed Grouse. The word, "Akwesasne," means land where the partridge drums:

Mortars and pestles, probably for grinding corn. But there was lots more to see at the museum, so I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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