The Iroquois Indian Museum of Howes Cave, New York, has announced the 29th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 4 through Sunday, September 5. The two-day festival’s goal is to foster a greater appreciation and deeper understanding of Iroquois culture through presentations of Iroquois music and social dance, traditional stories, artwork, games and food. This year’s master of ceremonies will be Museum Educator, Mike “Rohrha:re” Tarbell, a member of the Turtle Clan from the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Nation.
The annual festival centers on the celebration of Iroquois creativity and self-expression by featuring an all Iroquois Indian Art Market open to Iroquois artists by special invitation only. Both traditional and contemporary arts are showcased.
The Sky Dancers from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario will perform traditional Iroquois social dances, and may invite the public out onto the dance floor to participate, as well. The Children’s Tent will feature arts & crafts activities including beadwork and cornhusk doll making. Local wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin will be available to discuss wildlife conservation in our bioregion and will present a variety of wild animals including birds of prey. Pamela Brown “Wolf Teacher” returns to promote understanding and awareness of wolves and the importance of their survival with a display of educational and informational materials and fundraising items. The Museum’s archeology department will be available to help identify archeological finds.
NEW THIS YEAR: Mohawk educator Amanda Tarbell will give a presentation of Iroquois stories each day. Wilderness survival teacher and mentor, Barry Keegan will share his expertise with a daily presentation on flinknapping and other early survival skills.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Nature Walk with Mike Tarbell in the Museum’s 45 acre Nature Park.
Food is an important part of any culture, and a full array of Native foods will be available for purchase provided by Frank and Pam Ramsey from Onondaga. Delicious traditional entrees include buffalo burgers, Indian tacos, venison sausage, roasted corn soup and frybread.
The Festival will be held at the Iroquois Indian Museum on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM each day, rain or shine. Performances will take place in the Museum’s outdoor covered amphitheater and the artists participating in the art-market will be set up in adjacent tents. Visit the Museum’s web site at www.iroquoismuseum.org for a performance schedule.
The Festival is supported in part through grants from The New York State Council on the Arts, and donations from members and friends of the Museum.
The Iroquois Indian Museum is located just 35 miles west of Albany New York, near the intersection of highways 7 and 145. Take exit 22 from Interstate 88 and follow the signs. There is a fee for entrance to the Festival grounds. For more information call the Museum at (518) 296-8949, or go to the Museum’s website at www.iroquoismuseum.org.
Photo: Iroquois Sky Dancer at the 2007 Iroquois Indian Festival.