The place where artists and writers with Maine connections are showcased.

Posts from the ‘Indians’ category

Wilbur is documenting every Native American tribe in the US with photographs

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Robert and Fannie Mitchell. Tribal affiliation: Dine Photograph: Matika Wilbur

Read the full report on the Guardian Newspaper HERE.

One woman’s mission to photograph every Native American tribe in the US
Matika Wilbur has traveled more than 250,000 miles to ensure stereotyped images are replaced with accurate ones to change history’s collective psyche

Three years ago, Matika Wilbur sold almost everything she owned, left behind her apartment in Seattle, and set out on the open road. The former high school teacher had one goal: to photograph members of each federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States.

Wilbur’s photographs are mostly black and white. She shoots on a Canon EOS 7D digital, and a Mamiya film camera. When she finishes Project 562 (named for the number of federally recognized tribes at the time Wilbur began her work), she plans to compile the photographs and share them with the public through various publications, exhibitions and curricular material. Read more

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl- short stories by Esther Pasztory with intriguing historical insights

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl

From an article in Maine Insights.
coverIn this intriguing collection, Esther Pasztory, explores the interweaving of the intellect and the imagination with the daily life inside a traditional marriage and the gifts each has to give to the other. The readers’ many transitions between the two worlds, reflective of Ms. Pasztory’s own life, are easy, as both worlds are attractive, and yet, it is Pasztory’s imaginative apparitions and musings that are most illuminating.

When Quetzalcoatl’s pre-Columbian baritone in Conversations with Quetzalcoatl, forces open the quiet in Anna’s twenty-first-century study, and he appropriates the most comfortable piece of furniture in the room, a love seat, readers know they are in for a love story. However, this is not only a love story of an inspired female intellect searching for the true identity of Quetzalcoatl (is he pre-Columbian because he dreams in Nahuatl or Colonial Mexican, the greatest god in Mesoamerica?) but also the tale of a tender twenty-first-century marriage between Anna and her husband, Roy, one in which the couple eat by candlelight, wait for each other in bed, love their children and grandchildren. Quetzalcoatl offers Anna a world beyond the clouds. Roy offers her a Friday fish fry dinner down at the Dockyard Café to celebrate a beautiful late summer’s day in Maine.

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl is Published by Maine’s Polar Bear & Company of Solon. Read more

Maine Fiction

cover-2My Tainted Blood

In My Tainted Blood, a true story, the author hides to avoid capture during WWII. In the book the author, a German Jew teenager, has to hide himself and his loved ones to avoid capture during WWII. This 400 page tuner is based on the true-life story of Hubert C. Kueter.

My Tainted Blood follows Hubert as a boy and teenager in wartime Breslau and postwar Germany. People’s names have been changed but the circumstances are all too real. Read more

Project Omaha Beach: The Life and Military Service of a Penobscot Indian Elder

Book by Charles Norman Shay
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In 2007 Charles Norman Shay went to Washington, DC, to receive the Legion of Honor medal from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The medal has joined the others bestowed on him, including a Silver Star and four bronze battle stars from World War II and the Korean War, in his home on the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation in Old Town, Maine.

As a young Army medic he had been in the famed 1st Infantry Division that landed in the first wave on Omaha Beach, Normandy. He does not recall how many men he pulled from the water while bullets were streaming past him. “We’ve all had our individual experiences, and none are more dramatic than the next,” said Shay, characteristically modest.

Shay was a medic who saved many lives that D-day in 1944 when 3,000 Allied troops died and some 9,000 were injured or went missing. Shay repeatedly plunged into the treacherous sea and carried critically-wounded men to safety.

His book honors all who served but it was hard for him to recall the past while writing it.

Read more

Princess Watahwaso’s teepe, an Indian Island landmark, preserved by D-Day Medal of honor recipient Charles Norman Shay

In Charles Shay’s book, Project Omaha Beach, he recounts his Maine Indian Heritage as well as war experiences.

The following article and photos appeared in the BDN, By Robert F. Bukaty, May 23, 2014:

You can’t help but notice the large red and white wooden teepee just after you cross the bridge over the Penobscot River onto Indian Island. It’s been a landmark since 1947. But by 1988, when Charles Norman Shay acquired the property which includes the house he now lives in, the buildings were badly dilapidated.

Back then, Shay and his wife, Lilli, were living in Vienna, Austria. He had recently retired from his job with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The couple had decided they would move to the Penobscot reservation where Charles had spent most of his youth. For several summers they traveled to Maine to make repairs to their house. When their new home was finally made livable, they focused their attention on the 24-foot-wide, 30-foot-tall teepee.

Shay’s aunt Lucy Nicolar Poolaw, and her husband, Bruce Poolaw, a Kiowa Indian from Oklahoma, built the teepee. The Poolaws met while traveling the country as performers, portraying “Indians” singing and dancing at Wild West shows. When the stock market crashed in 1929, they moved to Indian Island.

The Poolaws built the structure to be a novelty shop and called it Princess Watahwaso’s Teepee — Lucy’s stage name. A workshop was later annexed to the teepee and local Penobscot women were hired to weave baskets on site, making it a must-see stop for tourists. (Penobscots never used teepees — that was Bruce Poolaw’s influence from the Great Plains.) Read more

Shay, a Pennobscot elder, writes about his experiences in WWII and Korea as a medic

My family and ancestors have lived, hunted and fished along Maine’s seacoast and in the valley of the Penobscot River since the Ice Age. Migrating between the coast and inland forests, they paddled bark canoes on rivers, across lakes and along salt-water bays, pausing to set up camp for a few weeks or months at a time. One of my forefathers was Chief Madockawando who camped seasonally at the headwaters of the Bagaduce (now called Walker Pond), just a few miles from Eggemoggin Reach. One of his daughters, my foremother Pidianiske, married young French military officer Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie, who was stationed at Fort Pentagoet toward the end of the 17th century.

This French colonial stronghold stood at a strategic location guarding the mouth of the Penobscot River. The marriage of Pidianiske and Jean-Vincent connected two families from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Because his older brother died without children, Jean-Vincent inherited the family castle in Bearn and his father’s title of Baron de Saint-Castin. He and Pidianiske had many children together, including several daughters, one of whom had a son named Joseph Orono who led our Penobscot Indian nation with distinction as chief in the late 1700s. I also descend from John Neptune, a great hunter, shaman, and diplomat who led our tribe for many decades in the early 1800s. One of his many grandsons, Joseph Nicolar, served our people as a tribal representative to the Maine Legislature for several decades. A year before his death in 1894, Nicolar published an important book about the history of my people, titled “The Life and Traditions of the Red Man” (1893). The youngest of his three daughters, Florence, married a Penobscot named Leo Shay, and I am one of their seven children. Read more

Major book publisher, Polar Bear & Company in Central Maine

Polar Bear & Company has been printing quality books and art since 1997 in Solon, Central Maine.

Vision:

We strive to enhance the quality of life through literature and art.

Mission:

To give well-intentioned, creative people avenues for their words, wisdom, wit and other talents so they can reach individuals to make stronger communities.

Democracy flourishes when creativity is allowed freedom of expression.

We publish books and produce art to open one’s imagination and to inspire.

Read more

Maine books on the great outdoors

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Above the Gravel Bar

David Cook takes the reader on a birchbark canoe journey through the landscape in the context of Northeastern geological development and Indian prehistoric culture. On rivers, lakes, over carries, and through coastal routes, we follow the archaeological and historical record, informed by accounts of early explorers.

First attempted in the early twentieth century, the publication of these ancient canoe routes, in daily use for millennia, is finally accomplished and in its third edition, with translations of Indian place names, a thorough index, notes and bibliography, and a foreword by Penobscot tribal historian, James Eric Francis, Sr. The eminent anthropologist David Sanger, PhD, provides an introduction. Read more