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Mohegans dedicate statues of former chiefs

By Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: theday.com

Published August 15. 2014 5:22PM   Updated August 15. 2014 11:59PM
Tim Cook/The Day
Megan Quidgeon Johnson, great-great-grandniece of Mohegan Tribal Chief Harold Albert Tantaquidgeon takes a self portrait with the statue of Chief Tantaquidgeon at the conclusion of the dedication ceremony for Mohegan tribe's garden walk honoring the Mohegan Chiefs of the 20th century in front of the Mohegan Community and Government Center Friday Aug. 15, 2014. Statues in the eight modern Mohegan chiefs are showcased along the path. Chief Tantaquidgeon served as chief from 1952 to 1970.

 

Mohegan — The Mohegan Tribal Nation dedicated statues of eight former tribal chiefs Friday in a ceremony on the grounds of the tribe’s Community and Government Center on Crow Hill Road.

The eight statues, executed by Old Lyme artist Sharon Gale, stand in the center’s garden plaza. A plaque commemorating the garden was unveiled.

Lynn Malerba, the tribe’s current chief, offered a blessing, and Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, welcomed tribal members and guests. Brothers Len and Mark Wolman of Trading Cove Associates, which partnered with the tribe in developing Mohegan Sun casino and helped establish the sculpture garden, also spoke.

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, the tribe’s medicine woman, gave short narratives of the lives of each of the chiefs.

“Great Mohegans have led us, or we would not be here today,” Zobel said. “In this Chiefs’ Garden we honor our 20th century chiefs with statues marking characteristics that made them unique and helped us survive as a people.”

The chiefs honored with statues, and their years of service, are:

■ Lemuel Fielding, 1903-1928

■ Everett Fielding,1929-1935

■ Julian Harris, 1935-1937

■ Burill Fielding, 1937-1952

■ Harold Albert Tantaquidgeon, 1952-1970

■ Courtland Fowler, 1970-1989

■ Ralph Sturges, 1992-2007

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