ORONO – The 25th annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Holiday Market took place all day on Saturday.
Tribes from around Maine headed to the Collins Center of the Arts in the University of Maine’s Orono campus to sell artwork and give a peek into their culture and community.
“There are basket makers here, with ash and sweet-grass wheat grass baskets. Also other artists with two-dimensional art, we even have a fashion show today, lots of demonstrations going on, people demonstrating their art and their talent,” said Jennifer Neptune, an artist at the sale from the Penobscot Nation.
She also said all of the art sold in the 25 years of the basket sale and market has been vital to the tribal economy.
“Cultural traditions are really important to all the tribes and important to our tribal economies. So artwork has been paying our bills for literally hundreds of years,”Neptune said. “Having a place where artists can sell directly to the public is an important part of keeping that tradition going.”
Aside from the economic impact, she said that the market is an open door for people to connect to tribal culture and learn more about it and the Native Americans of Maine.
“Art is like a bridge between people and cultures and its a great way for people to come and learn about us and our traditions and our people. And to make those personal connections and be able to ask questions that they have and come together understand each other better. It’s a win-win for everybody,” Neptune said.
To learn more about future market dates visit Maine Indian Basket Alliance’s Facebook page.