Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

icon for Zoom feature.


Sculpture: Deerfield Bell

In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, contemporary Kanienkehaka artist Steve McComber (Silver Bear) was commissioned to carve a sculpture symbolizing Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) identity and the connections between Kahnawake and Deerfield. McComber was intent on having the sculpture depict the adventure of the story. According to Kanienkehaka tradition, a bell intended for the mission at Kahnawake was intercepted by English privateers from a French ship. The bell was said to have been purchased at an auction and taken to Deerfield. The Kanienkehaka of Kahnawake, symbolized by a warrior, participated in the 1704 attack, in part, to retrieve their bell. The Old Indian House door survived to symbolize the attack in Deerfield. Surrounding it are seven girls, representing the Deerfield captives who eventually settled in Kahnawake and became Kanienkehaka: Mercy Carter, Mary Field, Abigail French, Mary Harris, Rebecca Kellogg, Joanna Kellogg and Eunice Williams. An eagle, symbolizing peace, tops the sculpture. Silver Bear lives in Kahnawake and is a member of the Bear clan. He began carving in wood at age nine, and started carving in stone when he was in his twenties. He is the recipient of the 1985 Canada Council for the Arts B Grant, and has been a juror for the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Silver Bear is also Director of the Thunderhawk Dancers, a Kanienkehaka dance troupe.

Date: 2003 
Topic: Portraits 
Materials: Brazilian steatite
Dimensions: H: 13 in(33 cm), W: 8 1/2 in(21 cm), D: 8 in(20cm) 
Accession #: n.a.

top | print