Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to say Merry Christmas

HOW TO SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS! in some Native languages, from American Indian Library Association Listserv, December 2009

ALUET: Kamgan Ukudigaa
ALUTIIQ ALASKA: Spraasnikam! [Happy Holidays]
WESTERN APACHE: Gozhqq Keshmish
AYMARA: Sooma Nawira-ra
BLACKFOOT: I'Taamomohkatoyiiksistsikomi
CENTRAL AHTNA: C'ehwggelnen Dzaen
CHEROKEE: Danistayohihv &Aliheli'sdi Itse Udetiyvasadisv
CHEYENNE: Hoesenestotse & Aa'eEmona'e
CHOCTAW: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
CREE: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
CREEK: Afvcke Nettvcakorakko
DINE/NAVAJO: Ya'at'eeh Keshmish
GITKSAN: Hisgusgitxwsim Ha'niisgats Christ ganhl Ama Sii K'uuhl!
GUARAYU: Imboeteipri tasecoi Tupa i vave!
GWICH'IN: Drin tsal zhit shoh ohlii & Drin Choo zhit zhoh ohli
HAWAIIAN: Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
INUPIAQ: annaurri Aniruq & Paglaun Ukiutchiaq
INUPIATUN: Quvianaq Agaayuniqpak
INUPIK: Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
IROQUOIS: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson Homungradon Nagwutut & Ojenyunyat Osrasay
KAQCHIKEL: Dios Tik'ujie' Avik'in
KOYUKON: Denaahto' Hoolaanh Dedzaanh Sodeelts'eeyh
KUTCHIN: Drin Tsal Neenjit Goozu'
LAKOTA: Wanikiya Tonpi Wowiyuskin & Omaka Teca Oiyokipi
LUISENO (California): Héngchish Chamná' Pochóx'ivo
MAYA/YUCATECO: Utzul Mank'inal
OJIBWE (CHIPPEWA) - Niibaa' Anami'egiizhigad & Aabita Biboo
ONEIDA: Wanto'wan Amp; Hoyan
NASKAPI: Miywaaitaakun Mikusaanor
Q'ANJOB'AL: Chi Woche Swatx'ilal Hak'ul Yet Jun Yalji Komami'
QUECHUA: Sumaj Kausay Kachun Navidad Ch'sisipi & Mosoi Watapi Sumaj Kausay Kachun
RETVARA: Mamaka Wejejer??ka
SALCHA Dzeen Chox Teedle 'Aay Nayilkaa
SENECA: A:O'-E:Sad Yos-Ha:-Se:'
TANAINA: Natukda Nuuphaa
TEWA: Hihchandi N??uphaa
TLINGIT: - Xristos Khuwdziti Kax Sh Kaxtoolxetl
TUTCHONE/NORTHERN: T'ohudinch'i Hulin Dzenu & Eyum Nan Ek'an Nenatth'at Danji Te Yesohuthin Ch'e Hadaatle
YUPIK ESKIMO, ALASKA: Alussistuaqegtaarmek Piamceci!
YUPIK/SIBERIAN: Quyanalghii Kuusma & Quyangalleq Nutaghamun Aymiqulleq

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas books in the Children's Library

Winter is a time of giving and sharing, and a time for telling stories. Here are some children’s books about Christmas celebrations among Native people. The books include personal memories of making baseball bats from Christmas trees to learning that sharing and being together are more important than presents.

Baseball Bats for Christmas by Michael Kusugak. Annick Press, 1990

Christmas at Wapos Bay by Jordan Wheeler. Coteau Books, 2005

Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story by N. Scott Momaday. Univ. of New Mexico, 1999

Coyote Christmas: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson. Abrams, 2007

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King. Groundwood, 2009

The Crying Christmas Tree by Allan Crow. Pemmican Publications, 1989

Red Parka Mary by Peter Eyvindson. Pemmican Publications, 1996

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reading Circles at the Research Library

Poet and Professor of English Ron Welburn (Gingaskin & Assateague/Cherokee/African American) led a thoughtful and engaging discussion of Sherman Alexie's novel The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian recently in the Research Library reading room.

For our next reading circle, which will be held on Saturday January 15, we will be discussing When Beaver Was Very Great, a collection of traditional stories and recent writings by Ojibwe elder storyteller Anne M. Dunn. The short pieces range from traditional stories to nature writing to contemporary stories of peace, justice, and environmental concerns. Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke), storyteller and accomplished educator, will lead participants in a discussion on the telling of stories using Anne Dunn’s pieces as a guide. Participants may borrow copies of the book from the Research Library or purchase one in the Museum gift shop. Limited to 20 participants, ages 16 and older. Call (860) 396-6897 by Jan. 7 to register. Free. Snow date is Jan. 22.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sherman Alexie Reading Circle Oct. 30

On Saturday October, 30 from 2-3:30 pm, a group discussion of the National Book Award winning novel The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian will be held in the Mashantucket Pequot Museum Research Library. Written by Sherman Alexie (Spokane), the book is the semiautobiographical story of Arnold Spirit who leaves his reservation to attend high school in a neighboring town. The discussion will be led by Ron Welburn (Gingaskin & Assateague/Cherokee/African American), poet and Professor of English at Umass Amherst. Copies of the book may be borrowed from the Research Library and are available for purchase at the Museum gift shop. The discussion will be limited to 20 participants, age 16 and older. Please call the reference desk at 860-396-6897 by October 23 to register. Participation is free.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Research Library: New Books, May 2010

Boyes-Watson, Carolyn. Peacemaking Circles & Urban Youth: Bringing Justice Home. St. Paul: Living Justice Press, 2008.

Butler, Monica Lynette. “Check Your Local Listings: Indigenous Representation in Television.” PhD diss., Arizona State University, 2008.

Cox, James H. Muting White Noise. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006.

Geniusz, Wendy Makoons. Our Knowledge is not Primitive: Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings. Syracuse: University of Syracuse Press, 2009.

Grant-Costa, Paul. "The Last Indian War in New England : the Mohegan Indians v. the Governour and Company of the Colony of Connecticut, 1703-1774." PhD diss., Yale University, 2008.

Krupt, Arnold. All That Remains: Varieties of Indigenous Expression. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

May, Karl. Winnetou. New York: Continuum, 2005.

Mundell, Kathleen. North By Northeast: Wabanki, Akwesasne Mohawk, and Tuscarora Traditional Arts. Gardiner, Maine: Tilbury House, 2008.

Munson, Terence E. “Native American Leadership Theory: A Tribal Perspective.” PhD diss., Capella University, 2007.

Vinzant, John H. The Supreme Court’s Role in American Indian Policy. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2009.

Wonderley, Anthony. At the Font of the Marvelous: Exploring Oral Narrative and Mythic Imagery of the Iroquois and Their Neighbors. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering Wilma Mankiller

Having received the sad news today on the passing of Wilma Mankiller, we would like to pay tribute by remembering her visit to the Research Library on October 2004 (pictured left), when she participated in our Native Authors Series. She is shown here in our reading room signing copies of her book Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections of Contemporary Indigenous Women.

Mankiller was the former principal chief of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma and a driving force for Native American causes and culture throughout Indian Country. Below is a brief bibliography of resources by and about this remarkable woman.

Caragliano, Maureen O’Dea. “Beyond Princess and Squaw: Wilma Mankiller and the Cherokee Gynocentric System.” M.A. diss., San Jose State University, 1997.
STACKS: E 99 .C5 C37 1997r

Janda, Sarah Eppler. Beloved Women: The Political Lives of LaDonna Harris and Wilma Mankiller. Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2007.
STACKS: E 98 .W8 J36 2007

Mankiller, Wilma. “Introduction.” In Reflections on American Indian History: Honoring the Past, Building a Future, edited by Albert L. Hurtado. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008.
STACKS: E 76 .W55 2005

Mankiller, Wilma. Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women. Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 2004
STACKS: E 98 .W8 M25 2004

Mankiller, Wilma. Mankiller: A Chief and Her People. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
STACKS: E 99 .C5 M335 1993

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Schemitzun materials in Archives

Archives & Special Collections has recently received a collection of graphics project files developed by the former MPTN Creative Arts department. Featured in this collection are many examples of imagery used to promote Schemitzun powwows from 1996-2002. Patrons may view artwork used for magazine advertisements, flyers, bumper stickers and posters as well as the imagery printed on products such as t-shirts and coffee mugs.

Also featured in the Creative Arts collection are several hundred video tapes of Schemitzun footage taken from 1993 - 2007. All of the Creative Arts material is available to be viewed by the public. If you would like to make an appointment, please use the contact information below, or make a request to visit the Archives at the library reference desk:

Phone: 860-396-7020
Email: archive [at] mptn-nsn [dot] gov

Image: Schemitzun t-shirt artwork from 1999

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Recent Research on Nipmuc and Eastern Pequot Lifeways

The following master's theses on Nipmuc and Eastern Pequot lifeways have kindly been donated by the UMAss Boston Historical Archaeology Department. We would like to thank program director Stephen W. Silliman, Ph. D., whose past work includes archaeological field research on the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation’s historic 225–acre reservation.

Cipolla, Craig N. 2005
Negotiating Boundaries of Colonialism: Nineteenth-Century Lifeways on the Eastern Pequot Reservation, North Stonington, Connecticut.

Fedore, Michael A. 2008
Consumption and Colonialism: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Two Eighteenth-Century Sites on the Eastern Pequot Reservation.

Jacobucci, Susan A. 2006
Constant Changes: A Study of Anthropogenic Vegetation Using Pollen and Charcoal on the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation Reservation, North Stonington, Connecticut.

Law, Heather 2008
Daily Negotiations and the Creation of an Alternative Discourse: The Legacy of a Colonial Nipmuc Farmstead.

McNeil, Julie A. 2005
Potsherds and People: Considering the Connections between Ceramics and Identity at the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation Reservation, North Stonington,Connecticut.

Pezzarossi, Guido 2008
Consumption as Social Camouflage: “Mimicry” and Nipmuc Survival Strategies in the Colonial World.

Witt, Thomas A. 2007
Negotiating Colonial Markets: The Navigation of 18th-Century Colonial Economies by the Eastern Pequot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Tribal Website

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has published its first public website.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Question & Answer: Berry Preservation

Question: I have read that berries were a important part of the Native American diet. How were berries preserved by Native people, who had no means of canning or refrigeration?

Answer: There are materials here in the library that suggest that a common method of preserving the berries was to dry them and then ground them into a flour type of consistency. The dried and ground berries were then used in recipes.

"Although we now have many ways of storing foods for use out of season, the Indians usually had to rely on just one method - drying. This is what they did when they found more chokecherries than they cared to eat fresh.

The Jicarilla Apaches ground the berries and made the meal into round cakes approximately 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. These hard, blackish patties could be stored and reconstituted when they were needed by soaking in water. The seeds contain a fair percentage of cyanide, but this poison is volatile and drive off by cooking. The soaked cherry cakes were boiled and the juice strained and sometimes sweetened for use as a beverage, or the juice was combined with other ingredients."
Source--Niethammer, Carolyn. American Indian Cooking: Recipes from the Southwest. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999

"Berries, both fresh and dried, were important in the diet of Northwestern tribes. According to Skokomish chef Bruce Miller, the wild cranberry, about a quarter of the size of those sold commercially, is only one of the many varieties of berries available in the Northwest.

Traditionally, fresh berries were cooked by placing alternating layers of berries and heated stones in a special cedar cooking box or a tightly woven basket. After the stones were removed, the cooked berries - depending on the variety and the desired use - were either left to sit and thicken or were thickened more quickly by an addition of dried powdered berries or powdered skunk cabbage leaves. Thickened berries were formed into cakes and placed on wooden drying racks lined with skunk cabbage leaves. After drying over a hot alder-wood fire, the finished cakes were stacked and tied with soft shredded cedar bark and stored in a warm, dry place for future use."
Source--Cox, Beverly and Martin Jacobs. Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc., 1991.

Email your questions to: reference [at]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 American Indian Youth Literature Award

The 2010 American Indian Youth Literature Award winners were announced at the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference in January 2010. Author Thomas King and illustrator Gary Clement were the recipients of the Picture Book Award for their book A Coyote Solstice Tale. The Middle School winner is Meet Christopher: An Osage Indian Boy from Oklahoma by Genevieve Simermeyer. Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me by Lurline Wailana McGregor took the Young Adult prize.

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards recognize excellence in books by and about American Indians. By identifying and honoring outstanding writing and illustrations in the field of youth literature, the American Indian Library Association encourages authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and tribal entities to create materials that “present Native Americans in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.”

Please visit the Children’s Library to read the 2010 winners!

The 2010 Award Winners

Picture Book

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King, illustrated by Gary Clement. (Groundwood Books, 2009)

The universal lesson that sharing and being together are more important than things comes from a human child and Coyote in this humorous book.

Middle School Book

Meet Christopher: An Osage Indian Boy from Oklahoma by Genevieve Simermeyer. (National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Institution in association with Council Oak Books, 2008)

Meet Christopher and spend some time with him as he combines his family’s Native traditions with popular 21st century activities.

Young Adult Book

Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me by Lurline Wailana McGregor. (Kamehameha Publishing, 2008)

Torn between her career as a museum curator in California and her family in Hawai’i, Maona Kawelo must make some difficult choices.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two Old Women Reading Circle

Director of Public Programs, Trudie Lamb Richmond led a group discussion of the book Two Old Women by Velma Wallis, January 16 2010 at the Mashantucket Pequot Research Library.