KATAH-DIN SEGMENT (10min)
Taylor Dunne, 16mm/Video, Color & B/W, Sound, 34 Minutes, 2014
The people who for centuries lived in what is now Maine were the Wabanaki, an Eastern Algonquin word meaning people of the dawn. Called this because they lived where the sun first strikes the continent at the peak of Katahdin. This place was home to a Wabanaki woman born into the Penobscot tribe named Molly Spotted Elk. Molly was a doorway between worlds; she was the first Wabanaki person to formally record the creation history of her people in her book, Katah-din: Wigwam Tales of the Abnaki Tribe while simultaneously performing the American Indian stereotype at nightclubs in New York, Paris, and most notably as Neewa in H.P. Carver’s 1930 film The Silent Enemy.
The history and memory retained in the Katahdin landscape is revealed through Molly’s archive, amateur film, found sound and contemporary observation. The figure of Molly is used as a lens to examine the process of erasure, restoring to American history something that has been lost but hidden in plain sight.