Tomaquag Museum Nikommo celebration to help the needy

By G. Wayne Miller 
Journal Staff Writer

Originally Posted Nov. 19, 2015 at 11:15 PM Providence Journal

EXETER, R.I. — As autumn firms up its grip and the cold months approach, the Tomaquag Museum is gearing up for its annual Nikommo Winter Moon celebration — a traditional Narragansett Indian thanksgiving that benefits the needy.“Nikommo” is the Narragansett word for “giving away.” Admission to this year’s event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 5, is free to anyone who comes bearing a bagged gift that the museum staff will distribute to those in want.The 2015

Nikommo will also feature a showing of the recently released documentary “Woven in Time: The Narragansett Salt Pond Preserve,” which chronicles the preservation of a coastal Native American village that predates the arrival of white colonialists. Members of the Narragansett Tribe assisted director and producer Marc Levitt in making the film. Levitt will be on hand Dec. 5 to discuss the movie.

‘Woven In Time’ is a film of extraordinary beauty, poetry and of the harsh relational reality of, yet in this matter, the ultimate cooperation between the state of Rhode Island and the Narragansett,” said Lorén Spears, Tomaquag executive director.

The Winter Moon thanksgiving will also include a Native American ceremony and storytelling.

The day comes as the museum works toward its goal of a new home to house its many collections and broadens its mission to become what Spears hopes will be a regional, if not national, center for preservation, discussion and celebration of Indigenous cultures.

“Its mission is to educate the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding indigenous history, culture, arts, and Mother Earth and connect to native issues of today,” Spears said.

“Tomaquag Museum envisions its future as an indigenous cultural education destination that engages visitors in thoughtful dialogue that promotes understanding and strives to create experiences that transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of indigenous cultures and the interrelationship with the wider world.”

The museum was founded more than half a century ago by anthropologist Eva Butler with the assistance of the late Narragansett/Wampanoag leader Princess Red Wing. For more information about the museum’s many programs and the 2015 Nikommo, visit the museum site,


(401) 277-7380

On Twitter: @GWayneMiller

Marketing Assistant