Title: Teweelema
Image size: 28 x 37 inches
Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.

Original: $3000

Malinda Mitchell, best known as Teweelema, was a Wampanoag from the Betty’s Neck area of Lakeville, Massachusetts, a site considered sacred by many traditional Wampanoag.  She is descended from Massasoit, the great sachem of the Wampanoag and the chief who was present at the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving celebration. She was known to be a medium and a clairvoyant and regularly traveled to Onset, on Cape Cod, where she sold her baskets and read peoples fortunes.

Windsong Blake, the Wampanoag chief of the Assonet band, lives nearby and he and Gerry have walked the grounds of Betty’s Neck on numerous occasions.  Gerry says: “The woodlands there have a certain reverence about them.  There’s an intangible quality about the place; something you can’t quite put your finger on, a presence that can be felt yet is just out of reach.  Perhaps it’s the spirit of Teweelema and her ancestors walking the grounds of their ancient homeland.”

Though the bag she’s wearing is done in the Wabanaki style Gerry selected it because the design is suggestive of a face, perhaps that of the forest spirits that still dwell in the backwoods of her ancient homeland. This is what he set out to capture in her portrait.