This page is created to honor the Abenaki Artists who have crossed over and are walking with our Ancestors. We appreciate the legacy they have left and will remember them always.
Suzanne Vermette was a Native American educator, historian, story teller, fiber artist, bead worker and native house builder. She also gave speaking engagements, lectures and demonstrations at schools, colleges, museums, and historic sites throughout the Northeast for almost twenty years.
Billie Largy was an Elder for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. She was introduced to her culture at a very young age. Her father took her under his wing and made sure she understood the traditions of the Abenaki, specifically concentrating on that which is spiritual. She was a singer of traditional Abenaki songs, as well a drummer.
Over many years, Billie learned to craft dreamcatchers that reflected not only her love of Mother Earth but also the essence of the prayers she offered while creating the dreamcatchers. Her dreamcatchers were made only with items made from natural elements from Mother Earth – no two were alike.
Bernie Mortz was not only the War Chief but also an Elder for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. He learned drum making as a boy from his uncle and continued making them his entire life. The steady sound of beating one of his drums will move your spirit as you listen to the heartbeat of Mother Earth. His drums will continue to carry his legacy and those who were fortunate enough to have one will surely treasure them for as long as they live.
Bernie was also a talented wood carver, making war clubs with brass tack inlays, dance sticks, friendship bows, and snowsnakes.
As with our other artists who have left us too soon, he will be greatly missed.
Isabell Nina Blanchard was very proud to be able to carry on the important family tradition as a basketmaker. Her grandfather, Eber Dyer, was a basketmaker for the Peterborough Basket Company. His parents Simon and Elizabeth (Blake) Dyer were well known Abenaki basket makers in Vermont with the Phillips family. Isabell was a beloved citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. Her daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Bill Gould, are proud to be able to carry on the tradition of basketmaking and by doing so, Isabell will never truly leave us. Today, she walks with her ancestors and is able to sit by their campfires and continue to learn from them.