I come to you today extremely tired. The drive to and from the Six Nation Indian Museum, while scenic, is difficult one alone. It was dampened even more so when I learned the museum was closed until July 1st! This put me in a sort of damper, but I contacted my mentor, Dr. Blansett, and he reassured that my drive was not in vain. In his best, go-get-em-tiger style email, he told me not to waste my time in Onchiota and perhaps call John Fadden, the director of the Six Nations Indian Museum directly. So I did. While I patiently waited for his reply, I took the most of my opportunity and visited Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) which offered gorgeous trails through and beautiful views of the Adirondacks. After the break, please look into gander at some of the sights I was blessed to take in as well as Mr. Fadden’s reply.
I suppose I should start with the Six Nations Indian Museum. After realizing my four hour drive may have been for naught, I decided to take what pictures I could and make the most of the situation.
Below is a recording of “An Indian Prayer” statue that was across the street from the museum.
Following the visit to the museum, I struggles to find a place that had wi-fi or cellular network so that I could find my way home! I ended visiting the VIC, as mentioned above, and found much more than wi-fi.
With the trail, I gained a new sense of appreciation for the natural world around me – an concept which is integral to Haudenosaunee world-view and will be touched on later. For now, it was a good way to make a down situation better.
I returned to the wi-fi enabled Center and checked my emails. From there I read that gung-ho oriented message from my mentor and decided to not give up! This is was the FUSE is for, after all. It is about learning the trade, making the mistakes, and growing from it. So, I did. I called the museum, left my number and a message to John Fadden and waited. After dinner, I finished what question I might ask when I got a call from the museum. It was time! But, alas, my phone connection died and the call was lost. The mountains were a blessing and a curse! I fervently emailed Mr. Fadden and explained the situation. After a few failed calls back and some more time sitting, I deciding to pack up and make it to the hotel before dark.
On my trip back, though, I received that fated email. It was Mr. Fadden and he was interested in what I was doing! Once I got to my laptop, I quickly replied and explained my proposal and my research thesis. He responded, interested, but was unable to help for multiple reasons. He offered a plethora of useful resources, as well as some names and places I may visit elsewhere, and left me with that. I was not disappointed though, not again. I took what I learned earlier and realized this was not a stopping point, but rather a bump in the road. Mr. Fadden, although he could not provide an interview, gave me places where I may find some and for that I am grateful.
All of this a learning experience.
Sorry, everyone, if this post seemed especially “personal.” It was a rough day at first, but turned around quickly and felt like an integral part of what FUSE is meant to be. I hope to capitalize on the opportunities given to me and gather as much information of Haudenosaunee wampum culture as I can!
All the best,