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One of the largest private collections of Indian Artifacts in the Northeast has been loaned “in life perpetuity” to the Clan of the Hawk of the Cowasuck Band of the Western Abenakis.
The huge collection comprising of more than 1,600 items can be viewed by the public in the Clan of the Hawk’s new museum, during its annual International Pow-Wow at the Clan’s 39-acre grounds on Route 58. The event offers both free parking and admission.
The artifact collection is the loan of Chief Looking Glass (a.k.a. Ray Lussier) of Attleboro, Massachusetts. Behind it lies a story of dedication, persistence and long hours of hard work. Chief Looking Glass started collecting artifacts when he was 9 years old and has continued for 60 years until a recent bout of poor health. This has forced him to curtail his collecting activities. For many years Chief Looking Glass carried on an education program focusing on Indian culture, traditions and history that has received wide acclaim from educators in New England. For these activities Chief Looking Glass has received the seldom bestowed title of "Faith Keeper" from his fellow tribe members.
Chief Spirit Water (a.k.a. Ralph Swett) of the Clan of the Hawk said, "The loan of the Chief Looking Glass artifact collection very literally took our breath away. When we first viewed it, we could hardly believe its broad scope and variety. "This collection," Chief Spirit Water continued, "has really got to be seen to be truly appreciate it . This is an impressive array of material which encompasses virtually every major tribe on the North American continent." Equally important, is its vast variety. "In this collection," Chief Spirit Water said, "The viewer will see beaded umbilical bags, knives, scrapers, awls, punches, war clubs, spears and spear points, atlatl points, arrow heads and bird points.
There are several items that Chief Looking Glass collected that defy explanation. One is a small Greek coin that can be dated to 200 B.C. What Indians were doing with his ancient coin can hardly be imagined. Another item that raises eyebrows as well as questions is a number of perfectly executed arrowheads that are less than ½ inch long. Even more perplexing is the fact that some are made of semi-precious stone. Items in terms of age range from the Paleo Indian period of approximately 12,000 years ago through the Archaic period to the late Woodland period of 500 years ago. On Saturday August 6th, the Clan of the Hawk’s museum will be dedicated to Chief Looking Glass. As Chief Spirit Water said recently, "When one considers Chief Looking Glass’ overwhelming generosity could we do anything less?" If you have any questions or comments, we are available by phone or e-mail. Please contact us for further information.