Reading Public Museum American Indian Festival 2001


8th Annual American Indian Festival
July 7 & 8, 2001
10am to 6pm
Javier dance

   On July 7 and 8, 2001 the grounds of the Reading Public Museum will be transformed into the fascinating world of the Native American Indian - rich in culture, customs and legends. This elaborate two-day event is very popular and this year promises many festival favorites from years past plus a number of newcomers! Admission to the festival is $5 for adults, $3 for children 4 to 17 and free to members and children under 4. Hours for the American Indian Festival are 10am to 6pm both days.

   One of the most popular attractions to the American Indian Festival is Javier Alarcon, Aztec Dancer. Javier performs dances from the ancient Mexican culture, which remain a part of their religious rituals connecting man with the universe. As in previous years, Javier will perform the Sun, Deer, and Fire Dance. The Sun Dance Represented by the eagle reflects the four cardinal points through the colors of energy and projects the rainbow. The Deer Dance is a symbolic dance, representing the human sacrifice and the important role death plays in rebirth. The Fire Dance is performed to honor Tonathio (the sun), who creates and transforms but never destroys.

   New to the festival this year is a Saturday performance by Jim Beer & The River Band. Jim and his band are well known in the Native American community and perform music that "honors the spirit". Jim, known as Thunder Warrior among his people of the Lenape Turtle Clan, is an accomplished singer/songwriter whose vision and career began at the age 15. His roots are in the area of Upper Bucks County, PA where his family still lives and farms. His love for his homelands, his people and Mother Earth are expressed vividly in his songs. It is Jim's goal to spread the message of preservation. In this way he honors his Lenape Spirit by helping to preserve "The Great Life." Performing Native American music on Sunday are Spirit Wing, a musical duo that specialized in Native American music, and Terry Lee & Strongheart.

   Also new to the festival this year is an Eastern Woodland Camp Re-enactment setup by the Smith's Rangers & Doudle's Company. This group, portraying the Smith Rangers of the French & Indian War period, is based on a journal written by James Smith, who in 1755 at the age of 18, was captured and adopted by Indians and taken to the Ohio country. Smith lived with the Indians for almost 5 years. Soon after he returned to his home near Fort Loudon, PA, Pontiac declared war on the frontier and Smith was elected to lead a group of Scouts dressed in Indian fashion to protect the local inhabitants. In Smith's journal he described many hunting camps - these descriptions are the basis for this living history display camp. The camp will include a lean-to, a fire pit, reproductions of flintlock long guns, bows & arrows, fur hides, small kettles, boilers and other cooking gear. The group will read short stories and give talks on the weapons, gear and clothing from the period.
   Saturday will feature Earl Schriver, a state and federally licensed falconer and bird bander. He will bring with him various birds-of-prey including an eagle, raven, great-horned owl and a falcon. He has lectured all across Pennsylvania and New York educating school children, sportsmen, conservationists, and many others on the habits and habitats and ways of protecting these birds-of-prey.
   Saturday and Sunday will be filled with Native American dancing led by Shoshone Nation's John and Kelly Pingeree. The Master of Ceremonies this year is Wayne Cave, Arena Director is Terry Lee, Head Drummer is Red War Pony and Guest Drummer is Eagle Shield.
   Each year the goal of the American Indian Festival is to teach others about the Native American community. This year the festival continues to educate through its expanded array of children's crafts and a variety of demonstrations including Tipi, flute making and playing, bow & arrow, and tomahawk throwing. Other all day activities include Native American craft vendors, pony rides, Native American foods, and legend telling.
   The Reading Public Museum will also be open for festival goers to view our extensive Native American Indian gallery. The Planetarium will be running the Star Show "Spirits from the Sky". Star Planetarium admission is $1 adults and $.50 children. The Laser Planetarium Shows will be running Saturday evening at 7pm (Laser Led Zeppelin) and 8:30pm (Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall). Laser Planetarium Show admission is $6.50 adults/children, $4 members. Also open during the festival is the Butterflies Alive! exhibit - a live butterfly house right in the Museum's own greenhouse (admission is $2 adults, $1 children 4-17).

Reading Public Museum, 500 Museum Road, Reading, PA 19611
Telephone: 610-371-5850 • Fax: 610-371-5632 •
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