In Memory…

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.

Bernie Mortz was an Elder and the War Chief for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. He learned drum making as a boy from his uncle and made high quality hand-made hand drums 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.

Image of Bernie Mortz.

Bernie was also a wood carver, making war clubs with brass tack inlays, dance sticks, friendship bows and Snowsnakes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with snowsnakes, it is a winter snow sport.

 Bernie was very active in the Abenaki community and did cultural programs in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Image of back side of drum made by Bernie Mortz.
Back side of drum
Image of hand drums made by Bernie Mortz.
Hand drums
Image of war clubs made by Bernie Mortz.
War clubs

Image of Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould
Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould

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.

Image of Isabell making a basket.
Image of Isabell making a basket.

Image of Suzanne Vermette.

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. Her mother and grandmothers were all fiber artists. Her earliest memories were of learning how to knit, sew, embroider, and tat, from them. Her first piece of needlepoint was in a show when she was just 7 years old. Suzanne expanded on this background and also did finger weaving, twining, beadwork, moose hair embroidery and weaving. She researched these traditional art forms both in print and in museums for several decades. Several of her pieces are in museums in the Northeast. She also worked with hemp, wool, silk, jute and cotton.  

Image of corn husk dolls.
Corn husk dolls
Image of fingerweaving.

Rose Hartwell with several of the sashes she made.

Rose Hartwell was a well-respected Elder from the Elnu Abenaki Tribe. She had researched Eastern Native decorative art for more than 25 years.  Rose did remarkable porcupine quillwork, finger weaving, twined and made Traditional Eastern style clothing and regalia items.

Rose also participated in educational programs at museums, historic sites and schools all over New England for more than 20 years.

Image of Billie Largy.
Billie Largy

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. Billie was especially know for the beautiful dreamcatchers she made in a traditional way.

Image of dreamcatcher.
Image of dreamcatcher.
Image of dreamcatcher basket.
Dreamcatcher basket

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