Wabanaki people, their history and their culture, represent at least a 12,000-year-long experience in their homeland. This continuous narrative for the Wabanaki people – a historic confederacy between the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot – offers an extraordinary story of resilience with contemporary meaning and relevance.
To communicate these messages, the Abbe Museum will open a new, permanent exhibit titled People of the First Light. Located in our downtown Bar Harbor facility, the exhibit will occupy approximately 2,100 square feet. Its content, artifacts, images, and interactive and participatory elements will be informed by the Abbe’s recently adopted interpretive framework and input from our Native Advisory Council and Native advisors.
People of the First Light will use design and content to bring you into the Wabanaki universe. The cyclical nature of time will be strongly reflected in the design of the exhibit, and time depth will be presented in a non-linear pattern.
While the exhibit is considered permanent (15-20 year cycle), we plan to construct it so that topics can be easily updated to reflect changing events, and the evolving conversations with Wabanaki advisors will guide us if updates are needed. You will find your experience relevant and engaging each time you visit People of the First Light!
Over the coming weeks we’ll offer sneak peeks of the exhibit, and share some snippets from the exhibit text that the staff is busily researching and writing. When complete, this exhibit will form the new core of our exhibits program and will offer a new dynamic for our educational programs. We can’t wait to share it with you!
I hope this post finds you gathering with friends and family in the spirit of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!