Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It takes a village – to create a village!

Rendering of Pequot Village exhibit from project notebook 1993

Our 15th Anniversary Year:

The Mashantucket Museum & Research Center opened its doors in 1998. However, long before the bulldozers arrived and the steel girders went up, members of the Mashantucket Pequot community and many researchers and consultants were thinking about how to tell the story of the Pequots and other Native people of the eastern woodlands. Tribal Council minutes from 1988 reflect planning and discussion related to the museum and possible exhibits.

Tribal elders at Museum opening 1998
In the Archives, there are thousands of pages of research, design ideas, drawings, and correspondence which reveal the complex process of bringing this dream to reality. In the coming year, we will be celebrating our history and offering many opportunities for visitors to learn about how the exhibits came to be, in addition to our usual array of programs. Join us in 2013!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New arrivals at the MPMRC Research Library

History and Culture - Native peoples of the Northeast:

The Unkechaug Indians of Eastern Long Island by John Strong.

“…the most comprehensive analysis to date of Unkechaug history.” 
Chief Harry B. Wallace, Unkechaug Nation


As featured on the Smithsonian Science website:

 Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America’s Clovis Culture by leading archaeologists Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Traditional Knowledge

Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing by Patricia Gonzales

“Gonzales links pre-Columbian thought to contemporary healing practices by examining ancient symbols and their relation to current curative knowledges among Indigenous peoples. Red Medicine suggests that Indigenous healing systems can usefully point contemporary people back to ancestral teachings and help them reconnect to the dynamics of the natural world.”  
University of Arizona Press

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood

The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood, by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, joins the small group of children’s books by Native authors about celebrating Christmas. In her story set in the early 20th century, the author remembers how exciting it was to unpack Theast boxes of used clothing and shoes sent by church congregations in New England. She hoped that there would be a coat just her size in the boxes from “the east” which arrive on the reservation in South Dakota before Christmas. She gave up the only coat that fit her to a more needy school mate, but still loved the Christmas Eve celebration with the Nativity pageant which included the 3 Wise Men - boys wearing “headdresses that only the wise leaders and elders of the tribe could wear.”  It’s a great book, suitable to sharing throughout the year and is the 2012 American Indian Youth Literature Award winning picture book.

The Christmas Coat: Memories of My  Sioux Childhood. Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. Holiday House, 2011.