The Drumbeat of Death
RIP, 2000? (Last site update 1999)
As CTMQ readers are acutely aware, I love museums. And I hate when they close – most often due to lack of funding, awareness, and visitations. However, this particular museum may have “had” to go by the wayside. Somehow, “Somers Mountain Museum of Natural History and Primitive Technology” doesn’t really have too much name cache. Yes, the name was their first mistake. Their second was using their spirit guides to somehow make me look fat in this picture.
But there is a part of me that really isn’t too upset at the demise of this place. How can I say that while admittedly not even really knowing what this place was all about? Well, those of you who know me, know that I abhor all types of mysticism, woo-wooism, nonsense, superstition and those who promote such nonsense really bug me. And, it appears, the Somers Mountain Museum of Natural History and Primitive Technology did just that. So the fact that they are no longer in this line of work is not really a huge loss. In fact, it’s a gain in my rational book.
To wit, back in 1999 (the last time this place offered such things), they presented a class called “Shamanic Journeying.” Just what is such a thing? “Shamanic Journeying has long been known as a vehicle for performing healing work and for sojourning and counseling with power animals and spirit guides. We will guide you on a journey to meet your power animal or spirit guide and experience the healing effects of drumming.”
Oh really. So in three hours one could become adept a “healing” through their “power animal,” “spirit guide,” and some drumming? Riiiight. Oh sure, this stuff is embedded into Native American lore and history… but that hardly makes it viable. It’s cute and quaint and interesting to learn about, but it’s also silly and childish. I’ll give five bucks to anyone who can get through this drivel about the healing power of drums. (My son is sick with strep as I write this, with a 103.7 degree temp. Maybe I should give him a wooden spoon and a pot?)
Oh great, Google has brought me to this place – Where they confuse Reiki (silly non-touching fake healing) with spirit drumming. For the low, low price of 300 bucks, you too can learn the technique! Sigh.
Anyway, back to our defunct museum. They also offered other – what were I’m sure pretty cool – classes in things like bow-making, edible plant identification, arrow making, and primitive pottery. It also appears they had some Native American displays and interpretive centers. I hope they gave their good/real stuff to other nearby Native American museums… but calls and emails to the former proprietors (made by the local Somers Historical Society a mile away – CTMQ Visit here) have gone unanswered.
All that remains (outside) today is the skeleton of a primitive hut of some sort and a For Sale sign. Oh… and a bunch of people with useless drums banging away. I wonder if they promote drum-banging to cure headache? Ha.
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