You are standing on Narragansett lands.
The man in this painting lived in the same era and region as some of colonists seen in this gallery. Dated to about 1700, this portrait depicts Ninigret, a sachem—or leader—of the Niantic/Narragansett peoples. His headpiece, necklace, and earrings are made of beads from quahog shells, known today as wampum. Ninigret is dressed in a breechcloth, leggings, shoes, and cape made of animal hides. High moccasins—from the Narragansett word mohkussunash—protect his legs from the underbrush. He carries a scepter and wears a sheath with a knife.
In this durational performance, artist Becci Davis attempted to repair the ancestral wounds of American history, through a series of deliberate gestures. These ruptures are incurred through the continued presence of Confederate monuments in her home state and absence of public sites to make amends for the exploitation, mistreatment, and erasure of local enslaved populations.
The RISD Museum’s 2009 acquisition of the Richard Brown Baker collection included two drawings by the English artist Howard Selina—Cowboy Hat (1974) and Two Boots (1974)—carefully and precisely rendered drawings in graphite on paper of well-worn, utilitarian garments.