Archaeology Fest for Indian Museum

Montauk’s Second House grounds will be the place to be on Saturday for the Archaeology Fest.

    An Archaeology Fest to benefit the proposed Montauk Indian Museum will be held on Saturday on the grounds of the Montauk Historical Society’s Second House Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    There will be demonstrations and talks by renowned archeologists and historians. Other experts in the field will conduct hands-on demonstrations of wampum making, primitive pottery, friction fire, the use of blowguns, Native American cooking, and deer hide preparation. Music will be by Walter Purizaca, a virtuoso of the Native American flute.
    “The mission of our museum will be to bring to life the rich story of Montauk’s natural history and prehistoric material culture,” said Dr. Maria-Louise Sidoroff, a Montauk resident and archaeological consultant to the museum. “We hope to raise community awareness about our museum, which is still in the planning stages. The fest will reflect the sorts of hands-on demonstrations and displays that will be the core of our museum’s educational program.”
    The idea for the museum came several years ago from Lawrence Cook, who has collected many artifacts he has found in the hamlet. He has raised money for the project and is often at craft fairs and other events with a handmade canoe in which people can throw donations. He already has enough artifacts to fill a museum, he said last summer, but has been promised even more from private collections if the museum gets off the ground.
    The East Hampton Town Board, the Montauk School, and other groups support the plan. Peter Charles Wilson, an architect, has drawn up a design for the building, which is to be built on the north side of the museum’s property. It is expected to include a display area with stone artifacts and tools found by hamlet residents, including Mr. Cook, interactive exhibits, and a classroom for schoolchildren to learn about Native American people.
    “Since a large portion of the material culture of the earliest people has disappeared, our goal is to create interactive exhibits that will demonstrate how they survived through resourcefulness and high levels of skill,” a museum brochure says. “The principal that guides our work is that visitors should leave the museum with a greater awareness of ancient and modern footprints on our land.”
    Most of the events will be ongoing throughout the day on Saturday. Guest speakers will discuss the history of Montauk’s own tribe, the Montauketts, the story of Chief Wyandanch, and Lion Gardiner, and will explore the prehistoric people’s dependence on and use of deer. From 1 to 3 p.m., each will have 20 minutes to go over their chosen topics.
    The free event is being funded in part by a $3,000 grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and is appropriate for all ages. Aunt Dorine’s clam bar food truck will sell goodies, and there will be a raffle for a variety of prizes including items from archeologists and personal collections.