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Indians and Rusticators Opens at Abbe Museum

The Abbe Museum presents an exhibit that explores Native American Wabanaki history.
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Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s opens at the Abbe Museum today.

The exhibit “highlights the role that Mount Desert Island played in the cultural and economic survival of the Wabanaki, the collective name for the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Micmac in Maine.

Rusticators were summer residents who came to the island from larger, urban areas in the Northeast. The exhibit profiles Frank “Big Thunder” Loring, an iconic Penobscot showman, and Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy guide and artist.

“It’s like ye olde Bar Harbor in the 1800s,” museum Director of Development Hannah Whalen told Bangor Daily News.

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The Wabanaki crafted sweet grass glove boxes and birch bark log carriers to cater to the summer visitors and to help support themselves.

“In a lot of these baskets, it’s obvious when you see them that they were made for the market,” Julia Clark, Abbe Museum curator of collections, noting the fancy patterns and embellishments of the woven grass, told the Bangor Daily News.

This exhibit will be on display through December 28, 2012 at the Abbe Musuem, located at 26 Mount Desert Street, in Bar Harbor, Maine. For more information call 207-288-3519.