Virginia Indian Tribute

“Mantle”: Virginia Indina Tribute in Capital Square Park, Richmond, VA
Centerpiece to monument showing names of Virginia Indian Tribes and major waterways of Tsenecommacah

Great to hear Gerald Vizenor quoted on his theory of “transmotion” during the dedication ceremony yesterday for the Virginia Indian Tribute Monument (otherwise known as “Mantle”) on the Capital Square grounds in front of the State House in Richmond. Not often that you get to hear Vizenor mentioned in a public speech in the shadow of power, but the artist, Alan Michelson, who is Mohawk, had some poignant things to say about the placing of this monument here on capital grounds.The “Mantle” title is meant to invoke Powhatan’s Mantle–a deerskin cloak belonging to the Cheif of the Powhatan confederacy at the time of English Settlement. But the spiral design and the water running through it is also designed to suggest the unending motion, migration, and transformation of Native peoples whose nations continue to grow and thrive despite 500 years of settler intrusion on this space. The Governor also spoke some choice words and Cheif Ken Adams of the Upper Mattaponi tribe offered a blessing. Nice to see all those who turned out on this blustery day for a rather cool and long-awaited marking on earth.

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