Historic Saratoga Springs

The mineral waters that inspired the name “Saratoga Springs” have long been known for their healing properties. Native Americans have many different names for the mineral springs. To the Kanienkehaka Mohawk people, they are known by several names, including assarat, “sparkling water”. To the Abenaki people they are nebizonbik, “at the medicine water” and to the Mohican onsagategw “miraculous flow”. The land where Saratoga Performing Arts Center is located today was known to the Mohawk people as Dandaraga “vale of springs” and one of it’s best springs was Awasa, an Algonkian word meaning “where the bear drinks”. In north eastern Native traditions, bears were responsible for introducing people to many medicinal plants and healing ways. The ancient traditions of this place, and the healing properties of the much beloved mineral waters, make Saratoga Springs, by whatever name it is called a sacred and special place for Native people.