WHAT DO ANN BOLEYN & WEETAMOE HAVE IN COMMON?

What do Anne Boleyn and Weetamoe of Colonial New England have in common? They were both Queens and both had their heads chopped off.



The Captive
presents the story of Weetamoe, a Native American Queen in 17th century New England, who led her Pocasset braves (the ones who survived the scourge of European diseases) in battle against the invading English and their Native Allies during King Philip’s War (1675-76). The Colonial Army was organized under the auspices of the United Colonies, a body formed to combat Natives that evolved into an enduring institution, eventually challenging their overlord, the British Crown, a hundred years later in the American Revolution.

King Philip’s War (Metacom) was the last concerted effort of coastal northeast Woodland Nations to expel the English, in particular the Puritans, and they nearly succeeded. This singular event ignited a firestorm that swept over the entire North American Continent, annihilating ancient cultures, entire eco systems, and the animals they supported. For eleven weeks and five days in early 1676, when a Confederation victory was not assured, Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan Preacher’s wife, was Weetamoe’s slave.

This true encounter has been brought to life on stage in context with the events of their time. The metaphorical story of Annie and Joshua gives voice to the dispossessed. Musical instruments, period songs, and dialogue lifted from historic journals all combine with the thrill of spectacle into a dramatic play in two acts: THE CAPTIVE

Painting: Indian Princess by Anthony Gruerio

11 Comments

  1. Your play sounds noble, your comments on your blog courageous. My only quibble is the painting being used to represent Weetamoe. I grow weary, as an Indigenous woman, the ‘pocahontas’ syndrome is still alive and well. That in order to humanize Indigenous women, we use pictures with white features – the painting looks like a barbie doll with braids. Weetamoe might have, indeed been a love woman, but no way in hell did she look like that.

  2. Well, send me a better one.

    This is a work in progress. I, too, tire of these stereotypes, but in getting product out there I am still dealing with (unfortunately) an entertainment “business.”

    Other issues like licensing and so forth. This picture was on another blog about Weetamoe, so really it’s just a place holder, until I find somnething else.

    http://www.meyna.com/wetamoo.html

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Yes Anon. And women owned their own property and participated in tribal matters. More evolved than the English, I think.

    Increase Mather wrote that the Natives referred to Weetamoe as “Queen”—his word.

    Weetamoe’s father was (possibly) Corbitant, a Tribal Leader. Native leaders, male and female, controlled resources and ruled mainly through persuasion. They shared their wealth at give-away ceremonies.

    Works for me!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Every organized society has a Queen. You would think that over the course of time we would evolve from such an act but recently a new queen of the Republicans has surfaced and her lipstick is quite fatal for the environment.

  5. Palin a Republican Queen? I wouldn’t follow her to the bathroom to wipe my lipstick off, let alone into a battle.

    From what I can gather, she’s a pawn, a stooge, a manipulator, a liar, and not very bright, but a Queen? Not even close.

    The irony is this: If Obama had picked Hillary, Palin would never have been picked, and then the Repubs would have attacked the Demo ticket as weak. Yet, Palin is a strong choice?! It’s so transparent to people that are AWAKE! The whole system stinks.

    But, thanks for stopping by Ron. 😉

  6. Hey connie, I really didn’t want to bring up Palin in the context of your play. But I did from the point of view of beheading and that maybe it’s not such a bad idea for a Republican Queen. She is in over her head. My analogy of her is that she is like a guppy in a little tide pool that has been recently swept away into the deep blue and her small town bearings don’t really work the same way. The media is starting to pick up on that and her symbolic beheading is inevitable. Witch hunting? Like cures like…
    But to get back on course with the indigenous realm, as an herbalist I am sympathetic to all injustices that have been imposed upon our Native Americans, simply because they are the voices of our natural world. You can see the fiber of our health today eroding from the seductions of technology simply because we no longer are connecting with the natural world. There is certainly a schism in the paths we walk as a people.

  7. Very funny Dagmar!

    Thanks for the words Ron. We are on the same page about Palin.

    And I would love to hear more about your practice as an herbalist. Do you have a blog?

    Connecting with Nature is one of my through-lines for this play. See the Native Culture. See Nature! The disconnect will remain until we find ways to reconnect. For me, it’s music, art, and theatre.

    Originally, I saw The Captive as an outdoor show, like Tecumseh–but Broadway first, and then outdoor venues LOL.

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