A new mural honoring the Pokanoket tribe of American Indians features a portrayal of Metacomet — the last Massasoit of the Pokanoket Tribe — standing on the shore of Mount Hope Bay. Artists Charles Clear III and Bonnie Lee Turner of The Art Of Life executed the mural on a wall behind the 133 Club in Watchemoket Square. Turner celebrated the completion of the piece with some context:
The mural honors and celebrates the Pokanoket Tribe, the indigenous people whose kingdom stretched from East Providence to Plymouth Massachusetts for….10,000 years! In the mural we painted the Pokanokets last King, named Metacomet, standing on the shore of Mount Hope Bay in Bristol. It’s a site that’s sacred to the Pokanokets. Behind him is a rock formation known as The Three Sisters, which stand for corn, beans, and squash. Overhead is a canopy of oak leaves, which symbolize strength and resilience. Across the Bay is Fall River. We painted him in a circle shape to symbolize the circle of life. Our model for Metacomet is Bill Guy, the present day Sagamore of the Pokanoket Tribe. The Sagamore is the 10th great-grandson of Massasoit!
The atmosphere at the dedication on Saturday was that of a big family reunion — lots of hugs and smiles and picture taking. I struck up a conversation with one attendee, noting that I had seen people sporting Nipmuk and Wabbaquasset insignia as well as Pokanoket. “Oh yes, we are all cousins.”
Additional note: Providence Pictures has just released its second season of “Native America” on PBS.
The 133 Club, 29 Warren Avenue, (directions)