Nimuué, the most famous “citizen” of the greater Pelican Rapids area, will come to life on stage–in dance and music–September 21.
A rare collaboration between the Fargo-Moorhead Ballet and the Summit School of Dance, will tell the story of “Glacial Minnesota Woman” at the Historic Holmes Theater in Detroit Lakes.
The 7:30 p.m. “Unveiling Nimuué” performance will also feature a piano performance by Phletus Williams–who with his wife Sally and Pelican Rapids area volunteers, renewed awareness of one of the most celebrated archaeological findings in the state.
Original piano music, the dancers, and a drama about the discovery are featured in the evening’s entertainment with performers from the Detroit Lakes-based Summit School of Dance serving as the guardians of the skeleton that has been given the literary name of Nimuué.
Though historically known as the “Minnesota Woman,” Phletus and Sally Williams named her Nimuué, which means “Lady of the Lake.”
The skeletal remains of this mysterious woman, estimated at 15 or 16 years old, were found by construction workers in 1931.
The skeleton was discovered between Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes by road workers who were repairing a frost boil in the road.
The Williams and the local Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization, revived scholarly interest in the discovery in 2015–which culminated in the “Gathering” festival in June of 2016 that commemorated the 85th year of the discovery of the skeleton. Williams believes, based on a range of evidence and science, that Nimuué may be the oldest human remains ever found in North America.
The non-profit Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization has aimed to expand on the history; to develop appreciation for and an enriched understanding of the land on which we live that was left by the melting Glacial Pelican Lake.
“A three-mile-high chunk broke off of Glacial Lake Pelican,” said Phletus, noting that each massive ice chunk created a lake. The break up of the Glacier essentially created the Pelican River watershed–and most of the 1,000 lakes in Otter Tail County, he noted.
The effort also emphasizes the people who lived and wandered on this land as far back as perhaps 20,000 years ago.
Arvig is a corporate sponsor of the organization and the “Unveiling Nimuué” program Sept. 21.