Mattapoisett Statue Honors Metacomet
By Laura Fedak Pedulli
“I wonder if I had been here [as a Wampanoag], whether I would have passed on defiance or acquiesce," mused Mr. Englund.
Details in Mr. Englund's sculpture are the product of his own research into the rise and fall of Metacomet. The feathers are pulled back on his head because Metacomet had worn them that way to avoid detection, Mr. Englund explained. Also, Metacomet is wearing a necklace of wolf teeth, another indicator of his bravery. In Metacomet's ear is a silver wire with a single earring attached, made from seashell. As a substance, seashell was so important to the area natives that the term Wampanoag actually translates to "seashell.”
Mr. Englund mounted the bust on a large solid oak base in recognition that Metacomet's capture occurred under an oak tree.
One noted trait of Metacomet and other pieces by Mr. Englund is the absence of eyes in the sockets. "Eyeballs block your entering into a piece," he explained. When approaching the statue, Metacomet's eyes seem to glint with the interaction of light on bronze.
For more on King Philip, see Roger Williams, Slave Trader and King Philip Chainsaw Statue.