People of the First Light Opening May 1, 2016 (Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, ME)

25 April 2016
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Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor MainePeople of the First Light, the Abbe Museum’s new core exhibit, introduces visitors to the Wabanaki universe, engaging them with the culture and history of a people that is unfamiliar to many. Bringing together oral traditions, personal stories, cultural knowledge, language, and historical accounts with objects, photographs, multi-media, and digital interactives, People of the First Light shares a wide variety of content and perspectives around more than 12,000 years of history, conflict, adaptation, and survival in the Wabanaki homeland.

The design of the exhibit space has been developed with a contemporary feel, shaped by the work of Wabanaki artists who have been a part of the design process from the beginning.  The central piece of the exhibit will be a two-story sculptural ash tree that will draw the various sections of the exhibit together. Artwork and illustrations by Maliseet artist Gina Brooks and Penobscot artist Sarah Sockbeson are the foundation of a visual experience that reflects both Wabanaki traditions and current experiences.

Key goals for People of the First Light include:

  • Provide visitors who arrive knowing little to nothing about the Wabanaki with a good understanding of Wabanaki history and culture.

  • Affirm for visitors that there are Native people in Maine and the wider Wabanaki homeland today, and that their story is one of more than 12,000 years with no removal history.

  • Connect visitors, and the knowledge and experiences they bring with them, to Wabanaki perspectives and ideas through multiple ways of knowing.


For more information please visit the Abbe Museum's website

(Source: Abbe Museum)




Maritime Maine

Thierry Bonneville, Web & Social Medias

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