Title: The Spirit of Webster Lake
(Sequel to Journey)
Print Size: 11 x 17 inches
Edition Size: 100 Signed & Numbered Prints - 5 Artist Proofs
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A study of Chief Spotted Eagle, a Nipmuck elder.  For many years he was a director of the Algonquian Indian School in Providence, Rhode Island, a teacher of the Algonquian language and keeper of their oral history.

The physical manifestation of the eagle, from the surface of the lake, concludes the dream experience and bridges a path to the antiquity of this body of water.

The setting for this piece is Nipmuck Cove, at Webster Lake in central Massachusetts. Tradition affirms that the Nipmuck regard this place as their Elysium, the abode of the Great Spirit and where the souls of their departed friends wandered after death.

During the seventeenth century, many Nipmuck villages surrounded this lake. There is a legend that a rivalry developed over fishing rights between two clans living on opposite shores. Each was angling in the other’s waters for fish that they would trade with European settlers. In an effort to maintain the peace, the chief of one clan offered his daughter in marriage to the son of the other chieftain. The Indian name for this lake has forty-nine letters: Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It supposedly means “you fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fish in the middle, no trouble.”  Though charming, this tale is apocryphal, the invention of a clever writer for the Webster Times in the 1930s. Research by the Massachusetts Historical Commission indicates that a more accurate English equivalent of the Algonquian is “Englishmen at Monuhchogok at the fishing place at the boundary.”

In this portrait the large sphere beyond the distant hill symbolizes the combined spirit of all the Nipmuck people who once built their villages around the shores of the lake. Spotted Eagle looks off to the distance and appeals to the spirits of his ancestors that they help his people find a way to a better future. The spirit of an eagle, arising from the surface of the lake, offers promise that his request has been heard.

Epilogue: Chief Spotted Eagle passed away in 1992. His love for his people and his dedication to them will enrich our memories for a long time to come.