“They say that, we Nipmuc started as Sky Beings, without form, living with Manitoo in the Great Darkness.” So begins the Creation Story as told by Larry Spotted Crow Mann in his book Drumming and Dreaming. Reminding the reader that “As long as, We, the descendants of the First Peoples of North America are here, the Stories never die. They live in us and through us.”
And so Mann goes on to share the rich culture of the Nipmucs, the original inhabitants of our area. Infused in his words is the sacredness of the environment—the lake, the trout, the trees, the sky, the birds, the fertile earth. The Nipmuc legends he recounts demonstrate healing power and teach “love, courage, kindness, respect, humility. truth and wisdom”.
The Friends of the Gladys E. Kelly Library invite all to hear Larry Spotted Crow Mann in person on Thursday, September 12th at 6:30PM in the Community Room of the Gladys E Kelly Library at 2 Lake Street in Webster. The event is free. His presentation is entitled “When the Land Speaks: The Nipmuc culture and the Ancient Relationship between the Land and the Indigenous Peoples of Massachusetts”. Following the presentation there will be a brief meeting of the Friends to which all are welcome.
Mr. Mann, a citizen of the Nipmuc tribe, is an award winning writer, poet, cultural educator, story teller, and Tribal Drummer/Dancer. The lessons of self esteem emblazoned in the traditional stories of the indigenous peoples are the foundation he uses to promote youth sobriety and cultural and environmental awareness. His motivational work in the area of drug and alcohol prevention in middle school children relies upon the ancient wisdom of the Native American culture. He develops supporting curriculums with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse, UMASS Boston and an Alliance of Native American leaders.
Larry Spotted Crow Mann has authored two additional books. The first, The Whispering Basket, is a collection of short stories and poetry. While the book reflects the history and stories of native Americans, it emphasizes that “we are all human beings first”. Family, love, and unity are at its core. The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving follows the efforts of a Native American man to find healing through a quest to eliminate the Thanksgiving holiday. The journey leads to the opening of his heart. It is a universal story that transcends culture and promotes connectedness.
Larry Spotted Crow Mann’s presentation is the first major event of the fall season for the Friends of the Gladys E. Kelly Library. On Thursday, September 26th at 6PM, they will hold a fundraiser—Celebrate Webster-A Tasting Event. Mark your calendar and come vote for the best Webster signature appetizer, as well as support the library by participating in a silent auction. Continuing the free music series, the Friends will sponsor four more free concerts—Atwater Donnelly (American and Celtic folk music) on Sept 11, Dr. Gasp (Dan Blakeslee—halloween theme) on October 9, Outrageous Fortune (Jug Band) on November 13, and a holiday community sing on December 11. All concerts begin at a 6:30 PM. Come early to get a seat. The program was a hit in the Spring. If you love to read or you are a fledgling writer, join the Friends to celebrate New England authors. It is a great opportunity to learn about the writing process, publishing, and the general creativity of writing with the people who know best—published authors. The fall program which begins at 6:30 PM each evening features JR Greene (The Creation of Quabbin Reservoir) on September 17, Meghan Maclean Weir (Book of Essie) on October 15, Kennedy Hudner (Riddle Me a Death) on November 19, and Judge Michael Ponsor (The Hanging Judge) on December 17. Finally, there will be two craft offerings on November 5th and December 3rd, with an opportunity to learn about and make holiday arrangements. For more information on any of these events, please call 508-949-3880—and mark your calendars.