Passamaquoddy Pack Purse, by Gabriel Frey, basketmaker, and Nisa Smiley, jeweler, 2017. The top features mussel shells set in silver and splints dyed with cochineal and logwood. Courtesy of the University of Maine Hudson Museum.

ORONO, Maine — The Wabanaki Winter Market, a celebration of art created by Wabanaki artists, will return with in-person shopping and demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the University of Maine Collins Center for the Arts.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of this signature holiday event, sponsored by the UMaine Hudson Museum and the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. The show will feature 25 Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac artists who create brown ash and sweetgrass baskets, birchbark containers, and jewelry, among other traditions. MIBA participants include new and nationally award-winning basket weavers. 

During the market, Gal Frey, a Passamaquoddy artist, will read “The First Blade of Sweetgrass,” written by her son Gabriel Frey and daughter-in-law Suzanne Greenlaw. Gabriel and Greenlaw, a Ph.D. student with the UMaine School of Forest Resources, will hold a book signing afterward. 

Last year’s Wabanaki Winter Market was held virtually, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an online artist directory and livestreamed demonstrations. 

“The Hudson Museum is excited to host the first in-person market, since the Holiday Show held in December 2019.” says Hudson Museum Director Gretchen Faulkner. “The event provides the public with an opportunity to purchase Wabanaki art directly from the artists and to learn about these ancient traditions.”

Per University of Maine System health and safety guidance, attendees will be required to wear face coverings indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and show evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. 

For more information on the event, please visit the Hudson Museum website at https://umaine.edu/hudsonmuseum/event/2021-maine-indian-basketmakers-holiday-market/. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact the museum at 207-581-1904.