MOLLYOCKETT DAYS ALTERNATIVES
It has always troubled me that the annual event “Mollyockett Days” has no direct, or for that matter, indirect correlation to Native peoples, but I am not surprised that the Town of Woodstock voted down money for this article at Town Meeting last week.
In 2006, I believe, I called the Chamber of Commerce and volunteered to be a part of the yearly gathering for free. Among many other artifacts I have a beautiful deerskin dress made from an original pattern by an Indian woman whose name was Grey Wolf, one of the last Cherokee women who designed these ceremonial dresses. I still wear this garment when I give Native American presentations, and offered to wear or show it during the event. Although my request was apparently considered by the Chamber, I was not included, apparently, because I didn’t fill out the paper work. No one ever asked me to participate again.
During that same period I also worked with a Peruvian Indian woman selling beautiful tapestries and baskets to help the women and children of the Andes and Amazon. I did this from my house during the years of 2005 '08, and absorbed shipping/other costs myself even though I could not afford to do so. Nancy Willard and her church did help with expenditures once, but this was a single exception.
One year I asked the Chamber if it would be willing to donate a table at the annual Bethel Art show for the Arpilleras (tapestries) and hand-woven baskets. I hoped to reach a larger audience because each tapestry that was sold ($35) fed a family of four for a month. My request was turned down.
If money is an issue perhaps the Chamber could investigate less expensive alternatives by turning to some of the local people in the area that are knowledgeable about Native American culture/artifacts for assistance. As many folks know I have Passamaquoddy Indian roots. I have been presenting a program called “Our Native American Heritage” to children and adults throughout the state since 1994. Additionally, I have extensive academic background in both Native American mythology and art. I have spent months in the desert deciphering pictographs and petroglyphs. I have lived with and learned from Native peoples in both North and South America. I have attended their schools and implemented an exchange program between children at the Hebron Elementary School and Amazon children of El Chino village. I have a solid background in Native medicinal remedies.
My point here is that I am a resource. Although I am not a full-blooded Indian it does seem to me that I have some knowledge worth sharing and it disturbs me that funds must be raised to make Mollyockett Days more “authentic” when we have folks around here who, I am sure, would be only too willing to help make this annual event more rewarding without incurring as much expense. I am but one of these people.