This Saturday, January 12, the program is entitled “New York Water Stories”, and highlights the historical relationships that indigenous peoples had with rivers and estuaries to current water-related issues. The events begin at 12noon with an opening water blessing ceremony with Zen Buddhist priest, Sensei Bonnie Myotai Treace followed by a special presentation with the Mohawk Singers and Dancers at 1pm and 4pm. The Mohawk group will present traditional songs and social dances honoring water, such as the fish and thunder dances. Excerpts from the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address will be presented by Mohawk elder Tom Porter.
At 1:30pm, author Evan Pritchard will present “Native New Yorkers: These Ancient Waters” and discuss the importance of rivers and estuaries to the Algonquin speaking peoples of Manhattan Island. Pritchard is the author of Native New Yorkers and No Word for Time and a book signing will follow his presentation. Additional presentations and demonstrations will be given by Dale Estus, a New York City tunnel builder (2:30pm), and Long island bayman, John Buczak, fisherman Bill Hamilton, and clammer Flo Sharkey.
Completing this unique set of programming on the 12th is an AMNH Water Fair that will be held from 1pm – 5pm in the Museum’s Grand Gallery at 77th Street. The AMNH Water Fair will feature water-related demonstrations, information tables, and art displays with Long Island fisherman; Mohawk Craftsmen; Friends of Brook Park (a local environmental advocacy group); Origami U.S.A; The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy; and Taino Spirit with Reina Miranda and Aguilar Marrero.
The American Museum of Natural History’s Living in America programs are free with suggested Museum admission.