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Monumental MobilityThe Memory Work of Massasoit$
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Lisa Blee and Jean M. O'Brien

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469648408

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648408.001.0001

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(p.64) Chapter Two Staging
Monumental Mobility

Lisa Blee

Jean M. O’Brien

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter follows Massasoit through eighty years of unveilings and dedication ceremonies across diverse locations to interrogate how the national narrative originally imagined by the Improved Order of Red Men was staged and how audiences received it in Plymouth and locations far away from New England. The interplay between the intended narrative of national belonging and regional/local ramifications of the statue's installation is noted, and indigenous perspectives are included. Even after the unveiling ceremonies in each locale and era (Plymouth in 1921, Salt Lake City in 1922 and 1959, and Evergreen Park, Kansas City, Spokane, and Provo in late 1970s), the statue continued to accumulate meaning for viewers. This chapter argues that Massasoit served as a stage (or staging ground) for public discussions over cultural appropriation and the place of Native people in national and local historical consciousness.

Keywords:   Massasoit, Plymouth, MA, Salt Lake City, UT, Kansas City, MO, Brigham Young University, dedication ceremony, statue unveiling, Improved Order of Red Men, national narratives, public art

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