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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 21, 2004 - Issue 107


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Kahnawake Involvement Intensifies in Deerfield Commemoration

by Dan Rosenburg -

Carla Hemlock of Calico Cottage will have her quilt dubbed "Walking in the Footsteps of Our AncestorsKahnawake will be well represented in a major exhibition that opens to the public on February 28 in Deerfield, Mass. The exhibition is called "Remembering 1704: Context and Commemoration of the Deerfield Raid."

The exhibition includes gifts that Arosen, the Mohawk husband of Eunice Williams (taken captive in the raid), had given to his brother-in-law, Reverend Stephen Williams of Longmeadow, Mass., during a visit from Kahnawake to New England back in the 18th century.

"We wanted to include in the exhibition the bell (reputedly) retrieved from Deerfield in 1704, but we were unable to receive permission from the church council at the St. Francis Xavier Church (in Kahnawake)," explained Memorial Hall Museum curator Suzanne Flynt from Deerfield in an e-mail to The Eastern Door.

"Nonetheless, we are very pleased to be including art from the following Kahnawake artists in the Contemporary Response section of the exhibit," Flynt writes.

The artwork includes a photo of Joe Deer by Martin Loft, who also submitted a Kastowa (a Mohawk headdress she made); a stone sculpture by Steve McComber (Silver Bear); a "Turtle Spirit" purse by Tammy Beauvais Designs; a quilt entitled "Walking in the Footsteps of Our Ancestors" made by Carla Goodleaf Hemlock of Calico Cottage, plus two silk-screens and an etching by Ryan Rice. The silk-screens are dubbed "Savage" and "Indian Summer." The etching bears the title "500 years/Niiosharake."

Hemlock's quilt is currently on exhibit at Calico Cottage on Route 132 in Kahnawake. "I was surprised when the organizers of the exhibition contacted me," she told The Eastern Door. Someone had sent Flynt a photo of the quilt after seeing it on exhibition at a quilting show in Vermont recently. As a result, Hemlock signed an agreement to send the quilt to Deerfield on loan.

It took Hemlock seven months, toiling 12 hours a day, to complete the quilt whose value was recently appraised at $6,000 Canadian by the American Quilters Society. "That surprised me even more," she confided. She plans to attend the Deerfield festivities with her husband and two of their children.

The Deerfield exhibits also include a decorated hard hat by Richard Glazer-Danay, whose family left Kahnawake when his grandfather went to Brooklyn as an ironworker. Glazer-Danay now resides in California.

For those not familiar with the raid in question, a force of French and Native allies on February 29, 1704 attacked the English settlement of Deerfield, Mass.

In the ensuing fight, 50 English and at least 11 French and Natives were killed, Flynt recalls. Another 112 Deerfield residents were taken prisoner and were marched to New France.

The Native allies included Wobanakiak (Abenaki, Pennacook, Pocumtuck, Sokoki), Mohawk and Wendat (Huron).

Though this raid was a minor battle in the War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War), the second in a series of global struggles pitting England against France, each Native group had its own reasons for attacking this English settlement.

Primarily due to captives marrying Natives, the connections with participating communities in 1704 have sustained over the years. Seven girls taken captive from Deerfield ended up staying in Kahnawake for the rest of their lives and raising families there.

During the weekend of February 28-29, a host of activities will take place to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the attack. Included in that array will be a Native dance exhibition by Steve McComber's Thunderhawk Dancers from Kahnawake.

Deerfield, MA Map

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