Plan ahead for the MIBA sale

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Basketmakers from Maine’s Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes will be selling their handmade ash splint and sweetgrass baskets at the annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Sale & Demonstration. The event takes place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Collins Center for the Arts, on the University of Maine campus in Orono.

If you’ve never been to this free event, go. Not only can you purchase baskets directly from the makers, but you also can see them demonstrate their craft. In addition, programs include a moose-calling demonstration, children’s storytime, traditional Passamaquoddy medicine, and drumming, singing and dancing by the Burnurwubskek Singers. Traditional foods will be available, as well.

For the best selection of baskets, go early. Collectors tend to scoop up the best finds (and often the priciest) in the first few minutes of the show. Even if you don’t have any plans to purchase a basket, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Maine’s native cultures.