A Collage Speaks a Thousand Words

Holly Ewald of the Urban Pond Procession has teamed up with families through the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum’s Arts and Wellness program in Exeter to create a book of …

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Holly Ewald of the Urban Pond Procession has teamed up with families through the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum’s Arts and Wellness program in Exeter to create a book of collages to help people imagine what Mashapaug Pond hundreds of years ago was like when the Narragansett settlement still inhabited it. A group of about 10 volunteers – consisting of children as young as eight and adults as old as 92 – have been working together to take photographs of Mashapaug and Arcadia Ponds and to make collages with all sorts of materials to give readers an idea of what it was like for indigenous people to live there in the 18th century. “It’s a local place and [the book] is made by local people who are descendants of the people that lived there. It’s an honest presentation of this place,” says Ewald. “It really helps people understand the native culture from their perspective.” A book release celebration will take place at the museum on April 28 and another procession and fundraiser will take place at The Mediator in Providence on May 12. Ewald is working with Loren Spears, the director of the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum, to try to circulate the book to public libraries and create a curriculum so that the book could be taught at schools.