The Ojibwe words Waaban Aki mean dawn land in English.
Waaban Aki Crafting was started in 1997 as a partnership of two craftspeople
located in the rolling northeast hills of Connecticut. These two artists, one
a formally trained Anthropologist, and the other an un-enrolled Native American with Ojibwe and
Western Cherokee heritage, spent many years learning traditional
Native American culture, dance and crafts from family, friends and through academic study.
In 2006, Tara Prindle became the co-founder and sole-owner of Waaban Aki Crafting.
Tara is non-Native, and received a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut.
Tara's interest in Native technologies and crafts evolved from her work as an archaeologist. First as a student at the University of Vermont in the 1980s, and later as a Ph.D. candidate affiliated with UConn in the 1990s, Tara conducted cultural resource management and archaeological research for several tribal groups in the Northeast including the Narragansett in Rhode Island, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot and Mohegan Tribes in Connecticut.
Eventually, Tara's interests broadened beyond the prehistoric study of New England peoples, stone tools and pottery to include involvement with living Native American communities and individuals. While continuing her archaeological field research, Tara has acted as a Board of Director for NativeWeb, Inc., a 501-c3 non-profit organization providing resources for Indigenous peoples around the globe. Tara's graphic design and Internet publishing also includes development and hosting of a website for the Nipmuc Indian Association of Connecticut, (N.I.A.C., Inc.), a non-profit membership organization based in Thompson, CT.
Tara has also lead educational workshops for the CT State Museum of Natural History, National Audubon Center, N.I.A.C. as well as other local Native organizations and educational groups. Tara authors and develops the educational web site Native American Technology and Art, which emphasizes the Eastern Woodlands and includes hundreds of pages of researched history & technical instruction for Native American craftwork.
Many of the items shown here on this website were custom made at the time of their order and required two to six weeks to complete. In 2016 Tara was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a hereditary condition involving defective collegen, that affects the tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues of the body. In 2018 it became too difficult to work full time and keep up with orders from Waaban Aki Crafting. As a result of this physical struggle, Tara is unable to accept new customers.
Waaban Aki Crafting was the sole manufacturer for several decades of affordable simulated wampum beads. Tara's individually hand-made acrylic beads actually look like Native-made wampum beads of the 1600's. Tara started making the beads herself after many frustrating attempts to reproduce woven wampum belts for local Natives using the other types of imitation glass or shell wampum beads available today. With her remarkable, unique simulated wampum beads, Tara also made wampum belts, bands, bracelets, bandoliers & bias weave collars in traditional and custom designs. Patience and quality are part of Tara's every hand-crafted piece.
Waaban Aki Crafting used various local plant and animal products in the craftwork, all legally obtainable and saleable in the state of Connecticut. Customers purchasing from Waaban Aki Crafting are responsibile to check on and comply with the legislation in their area.
Tara also authors the educational web site, NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art, which emphasizes the Eastern Woodlands and includes over 500 pages of researched history & technical instruction for Native American craftwork.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 422
Vernon, CT 06066
Waaban Aki Crafting
Not Currently Accepting New Orders