National American Indian Museum Visitor Services Specialist assists with search of Sowams artifacts

National American Indian Museum Visitor Services Specialist Melissa Bisagni was helpful in identifying dozens of Indigenous artifacts in their collection that originated in Sowams. Items from Bristol, Barrington, East Providence, Providence and Warren, RI that have been in the collection can be found by searching their on-line database. These items included glass beadsornament fragmentsbrass spoonspestlescooking potspipe fragmentspipe bowelsax heads, pendantsstonespickschiselsgrinding abraderssinew abradershoe bladeshammerstones, hammer heads,  projectile pointssteatite/soapstone fragments, and soapstone vessels. Unfortunately, none of these items or anything else from the Sowams Heritage Area is on display in the Museum. In fact, she was only able to identify three items from all of New England: (1) a Niantic two-headed turtle bowl by Ross Skeesucks, made around 1920; (2) an Abenaki carving knife with a beaver carved on the handle, and (3)  two Penobscot snowsnakes. Dr. Weed strongly advocated for the inclusion of some of the items from their collection as well as a way to tell the important history of Sowams in their permanent exhibits.