Jason and Donna Brown, Penobscot, of the brand Decontie & Brown discussed contemporary Native fashion at the Jesup Memorial Library Friday. At the Abbe Museum Indian Market May 18-20, they will sell pieces of their clothing from their line at the market as well as produce the market fashion show. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ABBE MUSEUM

Market gathers more than 30 nations: Fashion, film, performances set



A self-taught artist creating pottery vessels since the early 1980s, Pahponee is one of the artists set to participate in the Abbe Museum Indian Market this weekend. Her award-winning designs are inspired by her Kickapoo and Potawatomi heritage and the beauty of the natural world. PHOTO COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

BAR HARBOR — The Abbe Museum Indian Market, a celebration of native arts and culture, gets underway Friday and includes a juried art show, fashion show, film festival at Reel Pizza, storytelling, dance, music and other performances.

More than 75 Native American artists and performers from 35 nations across the United States and Canada are expected to participate in the event, which organizers said is the first of its kind in the Northeast.

The market is a free event. Tickets are required for the kickoff party, films and the Saturday night comedy show. Tickets are available at abbemuseum.org/indianmarket or at the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For more information about the Indigenous Film Festival, and to buy tickets, visit the Abbe website or stop by Reel Pizza Cinerama anytime from 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Kickoff party: On Friday at 5 p.m., the Abbe Museum Indian Market kickoff event will celebrate the opening of the market with local cuisine, a special performance, a mini accessories fashion show and the opportunity to mingle with participating Native artists. Tickets cost $35 per person.

Fashion show: A Native American Fashion Show featuring Dawn Spears and OXDX, Aconav and Decontie & Brown is planned for Saturday at 1 p.m. The event will showcase Native American fashion and accessories representing both couture and contemporary looks.

OXDX Clothing is a Native American-owned business based in Tempe, Ariz.

Owner, designer and artist Jared Yazzie (Diné-Navajo) has been producing artwork since 2009 to increase awareness of Native issues and to show the beauty of Native culture. “OXDX” is an abbreviation of the word “Overdose,” a word Yazzie uses to describe the state of modern society. “Sometimes we need to pull back and remember our culture, tradition and those who have sacrificed for us,” he said.

Fashion designer and artist Loren Aragon of the Acoma Pueblo nation is one of the founders of couture brand Aconav, to be part of the Abbe Museum Indian Market Fashion Show Saturday afternoon. PHOTO COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

The name Aconav represents the cohesion of cultures between its founders Loren (Acoma Pueblo) and Valentina (Navajo) Aragon. Aconav is a couture fashion brand that celebrates the strength of the woman. The brand strives to evoke the empowerment of women with positive ideas that are embodied in designs that tie culture to modern style.

Jason Brown and Donna Decontie-Brown are the driving force behind Decontie & Brown and have been creating for the past 20 years. This husband-and-wife team draws inspiration from their Penobscot tribal heritage and their experience in the luxury jewelry industry to create beautiful trendsetting designs with a Native American influence.

Friday, May 18

Tours of the new Abbe Museum exhibit “Emergence: Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation” will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Film: ‘Mankiller’: A film about Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, kicks off the film festival with a 7 p.m. Friday screening. “She was an activist and a champion to a nation — and it’s time the world remembers her name,” a press release states.

“Mankiller” is a documentary celebrating a leader who defied all odds to make a difference for her people. During a time when American Indians found themselves disenfranchised and undervalued by the United States at large, Mankiller emerged as a champion of the Cherokee Nation and became its first female principal chief in 1985.

Film: ‘Drunktown’s Finest’: A film written and directed by Sydney Freeland will be shown at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

On a beautifully desolate Navajo reservation in New Mexico, three young people — a college-bound, devout Christian; a rebellious and angry father-to-be; and a promiscuous but gorgeous transgender woman — search for love and acceptance.

Freeland said the film was inspired by a “20/20” story that called her hometown of Gallup, N.M., “Drunktown, USA.”

Saturday, May 19

The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Flute performance: Local artist Hawk Henries will play the flutes he makes himself at 11:15 a.m. Henries has been creating flutes using only hand tools for more than 25 years. As a musical artist, he serenades with his gift of music and stories, playing a variety of flutes and sharing his perspectives about life. His music reflects his belief that we each have the capacity to make a change in the world.

J.J. Otero, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Son of Hwéeldi, will perform Saturday and Sunday as part of the Abbe Museum Indian Market. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ABBE MUSEUM

Storytelling: Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy citizen of the Motahmikmuk, will lead a storytelling program at 11:45 a.m. Saturday. A former Abbe staff member and Bar Harbor resident, Neptune is a national award-winning artist and a weaver who uses their art form to channel the stories of their life. Neptune brings light to Passamaquoddy life and culture through their stories.

Jennifer Kreisburg: At 12:15 p.m. Saturday, singer Jennifer Kreisburg of Tuscarora, N.C., will perform. An award-winning, internationally acclaimed vocalist, mother, singer, composer, producer, teacher and activist, Kreisberg comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line. She is known for fierce vocals, soaring range and lilting, breathtaking harmonies.

Resistance rock: J.J. Otero, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Son of Hwéeldi, will perform at 1:35 p.m.

Dubbed “Resistance Rock,” Son of Hwéeldi music is a rich blend of rock, soul, blues and a touch of world beat. The lyrics observe and recount the political atmosphere and unrest of the times and work towards resistance messaging through song. Otero will share some of their “earnest, honest and original” songs.

Women Singers: Singing is an important medicine of the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) people, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). The Kontiwennhawi-Akwesane Women Singers use this medicine both to benefit their community and to share with outside audiences the beauty of their cultural traditions. The group will perform at 2 p.m.

Micmac stories: John Dennis, director for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Presque Isle, will tell stories at 2:45 p.m. Dennis strives to maintain the Micmac culture and language in his community. A musician and storyteller, Dennis will entrance visitors with songs from his hand drum and the stories and teachings he has learned throughout his life.

Hand drum: Accomplished powwow singer and drummer Chris Sockalexis will perform at 3:15 p.m. He is a member of the Penobscot Nation and is the Penobscot Nation tribal historic preservation officer. Aside from archaeology, Sockalexis’ primary interests are kayaking and canoeing the waterways of Maine with friends and family.

Open mic: Market-goers and others will have a chance to take a turn at the microphone at 4 p.m.

Film: ‘Out of State’: “Out of State,” a film by Ciara Lacy about two native Hawaiians in prison in Arizona, will be screened Saturday at 5 p.m.

A still from “Rhymes for Young Ghouls,” a grim story of survival written and directed by Mig’ Maq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby to be shown Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday at 8:15 p.m. as part of the Abbe Museum Indian Market Indigenous Film Festival. PHOTO COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

Shipped thousands of miles away from the tropical islands of Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two native Hawaiians discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. It’s from this unlikely setting that David and Hale finish their terms and return to Hawaii, hoping for a fresh start. Eager to prove to themselves and to their families that this experience has changed them forever, David and Hale struggle with the hurdles of life as formerly incarcerated men, asking the question: Can you really go home again?

Film: ‘Rhymes for Young Ghouls’: “Rhymes for Young Ghouls,” a grim story of survival written and directed by Mig’ Maq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, will be screened at 6:45 p.m. In 1976, a Mi’g Maq teenager Aila (Devery Jacobs) plots revenge against the sadistic Indian agent Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), who runs a residential school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. Hustling with her uncle Burner, she sells enough dope to pay Popper her “truancy tax,” keeping her out of residential school. But when Aila’s drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, the precarious balance of Aila’s world is destroyed. “Her only options are to run or fight and Mi’g Maq don’t run,” a press release said.

Film: ‘Our People Will Be Healed’: Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, “Our People Will Be Healed,” will be screened at 5 p.m. It reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. With “Our People Will Be Healed,” Obomsawin shows what action-driven decolonization actually looks like, using interviews and gorgeous landscape photography to represent this vibrant place in all its complexity and beauty.

Ladies of Native Comedy: The Ladies of Native Comedy will perform at The Criterion Theatre at 8 p.m.

Adrianne Chalepah, Teresa Choyguha and Deanna M.A.D. will share perspectives on life as they see it.

Chalepah is an entertainer and writer originally from Anadarko, Okla. She is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and is also Plains Apache.

Choyguha is the winner of Best Actress at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for her role in the independent film “More Than Frybread.” She is a citizen of the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona.

M.A.D. is a high-energy, powerful comedian who brings a “tell it like it is” attitude to the storytelling of her life. She is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Tonawanda Seneca of New York.

Balcony and front center orchestra tickets cost $25, and general orchestra tickets cost $18. Visit criteriontheatre.org. Call 288-0829.

Sunday, May 20

The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Women Singers: The Kontiwennhawi-Akwesane Women Singers will perform at 11 a.m.

Resistance rock: J.J. Otero, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Son of Hwéeldi, will perform at 11:45 a.m.

Micmac stories: John Dennis, director for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Presque Isle, will tell stories at 12:15 p.m. A musician and storyteller, Dennis will entrance visitors with songs from his hand drum and the stories and teachings he has learned throughout his life.

Jennifer Kreisburg: At 1 p.m. Saturday, singer Jennifer Kreisburg of Tuscarora, N.C., will perform.

Storytelling: Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy citizen of the Motahmikmuk, will lead a storytelling program at 2:45 p.m.

Film: ‘Mankiller’: A film about Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will be screened at 5 p.m.

Film: ‘Out of State’: “Out of State,” a film by Ciara Lacy about two native Hawaiians in prison in Arizona, will be screened at 6:30 p.m.

Film: ‘Rhymes for Young Ghouls’: “Rhymes for Young Ghouls,”3 a grim story of survival written and directed by Mig’ Maq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, will be screened at 8:15 p.m.

Monday, May 21

Film: ‘Our People Will Be Healed’: Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, “Our People Will Be Healed,” will be screened at 5 p.m. It reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education.

Film: ‘Drunktown’s Finest’: A film written and directed by Sydney Freeland set on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico will be shown at 7 p.m.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Liz Graves is managing editor of the Islander. She's a California native who came to Maine as a schooner sailor.[email protected]
Liz Graves

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