She Dreams of Home

From the outset of the Indian Mariners Project, I have wanted to demonstrate for a wider audience the intersection of history, community, and identity in Native New England (and by extension, Long Island).  My friend Courtney Leonard has brought that to bear through her art – most recently in her collection/exhibition called “Breach.”  This was rooted in some of her earlier work – She Dreams of Home – that is currently housed in the collections of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.   She shared with me the following:

“She Dreams of Home crosses and links both the creation story of sky and earth to that of cultural and symbolic elements from the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, New York.  The ‘matcik’ (or sea turtle) is the foundation where the breach of the whale tail emerges from the form.  This blend and action is illustrative of our connection to both male and female as our ancestors whaled for centuries prior to colonial banning off the coast of Long Island New York during the late 1800s.  The turtle is one of the only creatures on earth that has a relationship and connection to earth, water and sky.  The species carries this record upon their back with the development of thirteen scutes, referenced in this piece as the thirteen moons.”   – Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock)

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She Dreams of Home by Courtney Leonard. Collections of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.

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She Dreams of Home by Courtney Leonard. Collection of the Mashantucket Pequot museum and Research Center.

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