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Carving Lacrosse Sticks 7/26 at Iroquois Museum

Written By Editor on 7/17/14 | 7/17/14

HOWES CAVE, NY -- Alf Jacques and Parker Booth will be at the Iroquois Indian Museum on Saturday, July 26, sharing the art of carving lacrosse sticks -- a “Catch the Basket” museum mentoring program.

Taught by his grandfather and father, Jacques (Onondaga) has carved lacrosse sticks and snow snakes for almost 40 years. Jacques, a retired machinist, is one of the very few Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) who maintain a mastery of the art form. Jacques has been both a lacrosse player and coach; and brings knowledge of the wood and of the game to his hand-crafted sticks. Commissioned to create sticks for the International World Cup Lacrosse games, he feels that an appreciation for his craft ends with the players, and does not extend to other members of his community. “I think here, it’s not out of the ordinary, it’s something we just take for granted. There is a misconception that it’s always been here, it always will be,“ says Jacques. Jacques has served as a demonstrating artist at Ganondagan Historic Site (Victor, NY), Otsiningo Powwow, and Saint Marie, among the Iroquois (Syracuse, NY), the Utica Children’s Museum and schools throughout the region.

Until recently, Jacques had no apprentice to whom to pass on his knowledge until Parker Booth. The lengthy time commitment and physical demands of the craft discouraged most members of his community. Even as a young boy admired Jacques’ work and knew he would one day learn the craft. In 2012 at age 33, Booth moved back to the reservation with his family and made the decision to work closely with Jacques. His deep cultural dedication to traditions will ensure the crafts’ continuation for another generation.

Catch the Basket and all events at the Museum are free with paid admission. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949.

For more information, visit www.iroquoismuseum.org.
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