Celebration to include a Native New Year Clambake
Published March 20, 2016
MASHANTUCKET, CONNECTICUT – The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center announced today that it will reopen for the 2016 season on Friday, Apr. 1, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at its state-of-the-art, 308,000-square-foot complex located on the scenic Pequot Reservation.
To celebrate the re-opening, on Saturday, Apr. 2, Pequot Museum Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag) and Traditional Bakemaster Vernon Pocknett will be serving an eastern woodland clambake prepared in the Native tradition of using hot stones and rockweed to steam lobster, fish, steamers, linguica, hot dog, corn on the cob, white potato, sweet potato, onion and brown bread in addition to quahog chowder and watermelon.
A traditional clambake holds important spiritual and cultural meaning for Native people and guests will learn the process and technique involved in creating a clambake. How to select and arrange the stones that will create the “rockweed oven,” the purpose and importance of the rockweed, and the art of placing food on the stones so that it all cooks evenly. Traditional singing and exhibition dancing are also part of the celebration.
The restaurant will be unveiling a new authentic Native American eastern woodland menu for 2016. The menu was created by Chef Sherry and features traditional as well as contemporary native cuisine such house made snapping turtle soup, venison skewers, smoked salmon, bison burgers, fish and chips, quahog fritters, frog legs and so much more.
“We have been extremely busy during our quiet season preparing a new authentic Native menu featuring Chef Sherry originals and redesigning the museum’s store so that it becomes an extension of the exhibits,” said Dr. Jason Mancini, Pequot Museum executive director. “We want to employ every opportunity to educate the public about Mashantucket as a cultural space, steeped in tradition and story telling.”
Additionally, this year we will be hosting Indigenous Fine Art Market East or IFAM(E). IFAM(E) is expected to be the largest 3-day juried Native American art show and celebration on the east coast. The richness of IFAM(E) is the embodiment of all art forms; visual, performing, installation and culinary as well as writers, fashion designers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers. This is much more than an art show, it is a participatory exploration of Native American art and culture that creates connections and encourages inclusion of all people. The first annual east coast show will take place May 20-22, 2016. Additional details can be found here.