12 July 2013

Florida Fauna

Using graphite and colored pencils on top of the ‘ledger’ print, I’ve added some pelicans and an alligator, both of which would have been completely strange to the 72 captured Plains Indians.

Imagine the impression that the Plains Indians would have had of Florida. So much water! Hot and humid, it must have seemed like another universe. They were detained in dank Fort Marion on the water's edge. In the PBS documentary In the White Man's Image, historian Henrietta Mann says, “I’m sure it must have been a very apprehensive situation for them on the one hand to see so much water, because we believe that, as we go to live in that blissful place above, that we cross over four rivers. I’m sure they felt as if they were facing death.” She goes on to say that another clear omen occurred when Pratt removed their chains and ordered their hair cut, as cutting hair is a sign of mourning and death.


Andrew Stone said...

I can't see yet where this is going. But I LOVE your pelicans. One of my favorite birds and a source of great solace, always, when I'm at the coast alone to listen to the sea and watch the long lines of (usually brown) pelicans flying in formation, low over the water in a way that is mesmerizing and somehow reassuring.
I'm from Florida, so pelicans and alligators were part of our everyday life..(really) so again, I'm curious about what comes next...

Annie B said...

Andrew, thank you so much for your comments. I'm working blind here, as I've only ever been to Florida once and even so I never saw an alligator. I'm so happy to hear that you, a native Floridian, are reacting positively to my pelicans.

I'm hoping that these pelicans offered solace to the captured Indians as they have to you.