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Former Chief Recreating history At UMaine 

A former Penobscot Nation Chief is recreating a piece of his heritage at the Collins Center for the Arts. His original creation will soon be the center piece at the University of Maine’s Hudson Museum.Housed in the Hudson Museum’s Maine Indian Gallery is literally hundreds of years of history. Dana is trying to add to that history by recreating a traditional birchbark wigwam. “My ancestors would have lived in something similar to this for thousands of years in this area,” he says.A self-proclaimed culturist of the Penobscot Nation Dana takes pride in these recreations. “I grew up on the reservation at a time when the elders living a that time, my grandmother, grandfather, and other elders, this is what they talked about. This is what made their eyes twinkle was their culture which at that time they were seeing was no longer being practiced.”Dana came became a student at the University of Maine but he’s never forgotten his heritage and he says recreating that culture is his passion. “You know that burning desire deep within your subconscious that says I really need to experience what my ancestors experienced. The only way to do that is, I mean you can look in books, you can look at videos, you can talk with people, but you have to go out and gather materials and fashion them together and recreate what they made at one time.”Now he’s making it a family affair. His wife and daughter are an integral part of the project. The wigwam will be finished in about 4 days. Dana thinks it will last a very long time. “You figure there are birch bark canoes in use today that are 150-years-old. Now if a canoe can last that long than a wigwam can last even longer.”