‘A teaching tool from my ancestors’: Former Penobscot Indian chief building wigwam at UM museum | Bangor Daily News

ORONO, Maine — A former chief of the Penobscot Nation was surrounded Monday by all the materials he, his family and members of his tribe needed to construct a domed birch-bark dwelling.

Bent maple and spruce saplings about 1 inch in diameter waited next to a pile of birch bark in strips a yard wide and about 2 feet long until they were needed. Strips of basswood bark and tree roots sat curled like rope until they were called to tie the saplings together to complete the wigwam’s skeleton.

Barry Dana could have been kneeling in a clearing on Indian Island, just as his ancestors did centuries ago, preparing to build a birch-bark wigwam for his family. Instead, Dana, 51, his wife, Lori Dana, 50, and daughter Skiwani, 17, all of Solon were building the structure at the Hudson Museum inside the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine with help from a couple of engineering students.

Click on the link for the rest of this story by Judy Harrison in the Bangor Daily News.

 The Hudson Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and holidays.

For more information, call (207) 581-3756.

On the Web: www.umaine.edu/hudsonmuseum.

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