Wabanaki Stories WORLD PREMIERE

Friday, February 3, 2023 7:30PM | Westbrook PAC

The land and waters known as Maine have been home to Wabanaki people for over 12,000 years. This vibrant exploration of Wabanaki histories and cultures spotlights two Wabanaki storytellers coming from different nations and storytelling traditions. Jennifer Pictou (Mi’kmaq) regales with spirit stories told in the company of large puppets, and Dwayne Tomah (Passamaquoddy), the youngest fluent speaker of Passamaquoddy, shares stories that showcase his native language. Artist and author Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) intersperses each story with music and narration.


Jennifer Pictou (Mi’kmaq) is a member of the Mi’kmaq Nation (formerly the Aroostook Band of Micmac). She is a professional storyteller, artist, and historian as well as owner of a nationally renowned tour company, Bar Harbor Ghost Tours. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and A Masters Degree in American and New England Studies. Jennifer describes her art style as a mix of traditional Mi’kmaq forms with an Art Deco flair. Her original bead designs involve intricate traditional double curves and floral patterns beaded into exquisite limited edition handbags and wall art. Currently Jennifer is also studying and is a founding member of a group reviving traditional Mi’kmaq porcupine quill embroidery. 

Dwayne Tomah (Passamaquoddy) is a teacher of the Passamaquoddy language and culture. He is the youngest fluent speaker of the Passamaquoddy tribe today. He has worked on language and cultural preservation his entire life. Dwayne has worked with Animal Planet on a segment on winged creatures. He edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and is a former Tribal Council Member. Dwayne is currently working with Library of Congress on Passamaquoddy Wax cylinders. These recordings are the first recordings in the world. The wax cylinders were recorded by Jessie Walter Fukes, who borrowed the device from the inventor of the wax cylinder machine, Thomas Edison, and recorded the Passamaquoddys in 1890.