This year, the Clarke Museum participated in Sumeg Village day through the loaning of a museum dress and dentalium necklaces to be worn during a dress walk. The dress walk event was an opportunity for people to see the incredible dresses created by local people or members from local tribes, dresses that are typically worn during ceremonial events and dances. The Clarke Museum dress was worn by Isobel, a junior docent at the Clarke and granddaughter of museum board member Shirley Laos. Board member Rachel Sundberg organized the dress walk and spoke with the public about the dresses and their making.
On September 29, Patrick’s Point State Park hosted Sumeg Village Day, an event celebrating and honoring Yurok cultural practices. Sumeg is a recreated Yurok village featuring traditional-style redwood plank houses, sweathouses, canoes and a native plant garden that is open to the public and used throughout the year for cultural demonstrations and education of the public and Yurok youth.
The museum strives to balance public accessibility to artifacts, protection of artifacts, and the cultural care of items in the museum collections when participating in events by loaning out designated items for use in traditional ceremonies and for public outreach events. The utmost care is taken to protect the structural integrity of the items while also ensuring that the items are strengthened spiritually through their participation in the dances. This program has been instrumental in helping revitalize local dance traditions as tribal members have been able to use and study regalia and create their own to start dancing again. We hope to continue supporting the continuing expansion of the dances and supporting the continual communication between the past and present through the study of historic regalia and the creation of new regalia.
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