Heritage Days at Smith's Castle

Heritage Days: Indigenous Peoples

Presented by Smith’s Castle and Tomaquag Museum


On the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd , 2015,  from noon to 4pm each day, Smith’s Castle and the Tomaquag Museum will present a celebration of the history and culture of some of Rhode Island’s indigenous peoples on the grounds of Smith’s Castle, also known as Cocumscussoc. “The Tomaquag Museum is very happy to partner with Smith’s Castle to provide an indigenous viewpoint of Cocumscussoc,” stated Lorén Spears, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum.

Through storytelling, craft demonstrations, film, and music and dance performances, the Tomaquag Museum will convey the histories of the Narragansett/Niantic peoples and the continued preservation of their spiritual, cultural, and indigenous lifestyles.

Each day begins with an opening ceremony led by Dawn Dove, Narragansett Elder.

On-going presentations will include films, artisans (who will demonstrate as well as sell their creations), and featured food vendor Sly Fox Den specializing in indigenous cuisine.


All day long family fun stations will be available, including a “Make Your Own Beaded Necklace” booth, Nnative games such as Hubub and The Moccasin Game, and a Tomaquag Museum exhibit table of cultural artifacts.

Storytelling will occur at 1pm daily. Nationally known Narragansett storyteller Paulla Dove Jennings will be featured on Saturday, and on Sunday  Narragansett,Thawn Harris will weave stories with music & dance. Lorén Spears, Cultural Educator & Storyteller will perform Narragansett stories with music & dance later each afternoon.

Other traditional artists include Wesly Jennings, Craig Spears, Yolanda Smith, Dawn Spears, Robin Spears Jr., Emily Manning, Robert Peters, Delos Tate and Cassius Spears, who will demonstrate Flute, pottery, beadwork, weaving, wampum, cornhusk dolls, carving, traditional food demonstrations and much more!  

“We are so excited to work with the Tomaquag Museum to showcase the culture of Rhode Island’s indigenous people, who for forty years, in the early seventeenth century, traded with the colonists at Cocumscussoc,” stated Robert Stone, President of Smith’s Castle. The first floor of the 1678 house will be open and staffed by docents. Robert Geake, author and historian, will conduct waterfront tours of Mill Cove and discuss the trade and interactions between the early settlers and indigenous peoples.

Admission is $10 per adult, $5 per child (6-12), $25 cap per family, with a $2 discount for seniors and active military personnel. Parking is free. Refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact Smith’s Castle at 401-294-3521 smithscastle@earthlink.net  

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