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Oct 26, 2023
Display made of over 100 carved artificial pumpkins teaches about traditional dance, regalia and music
One of the most popular Haudenosaunee social dances — the smoke dance — is brought to life with gourd-geous sculptures made of more than 100 intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns at Upper Canada Village.
It’s part of the newest display at Pumpkinferno, an annual outdoor exhibit at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ont., about 60 kilometres southeast of Ottawa, featuring elaborate hand-carved and illuminated pumpkins.
“We’re a very proud community and we love to share our Mohawk spirit with others,” said Randi Barreiro, who is from Akwesasne, a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community on the Ontario, Quebec, and New York state borders.
Barreiro, a marketing specialist at Akwesasne Travel, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s tourism agency, said the collaboration on the exhibit is a way to connect Akwesasne with its neighbours, and for the many visitors who attend to learn something new about Kanien’kehá:ka culture.
The display features around 100 artificial pumpkins carved into sculptures of smoke dancers and a water drummer adorned in traditional regalia.