Pokanokets build a portable wetu at Mt. Hope Farm

Plans for a July 5th event in Burr’s Hill Park in 2020 were postponed until 2021, but they called for construction of a wetu by members of the Pokanoket Tribe, so Tribe Members Listening Wind (Coy Bethune) and White Owl (Richer Gosselin) began work on a frame that can be completed with matting later this year at Mt. Hope Farm and transported to Burr’s Hill Park in 2021. Click here for a three-and-a-half minute video of the construction.

(Above) White Owl, Mt. Hope Farm representative Merritt Meyer, Sagamore Winds of Thunder, Listening Wind, and Nootau Quanuan of Cranston pose for a photo in front to the wetu frame that was completed on July 18, 2020 at Mt. Hope Farm. Work on the covering will proceed over the coming year.


(Above) Cedar saplings were harvested on Mt. Hope Farm in April when the sap was flowing, and they were bent into position on the ground by Listening Wind and White Owl to construct the elements of the wetu frame.


(Above) Listening Wind ties the pieces of the frame together and lashes them together to create the dome shape of the wetu. Due to Department of Transportation restrictions, the width of the structure could not exceed eight feet in order to be transported on a flatbed truck from the Farm to Burr’s Hill Park.


(Above) Listening Wind and White Owl tie the remaining pieces of the structure together to make a solid frame that is tall enough to permit an adult to stand inside.


(Above) With the structure nearly complete, Warren Land Conservation Trust Board Member Rock Singewald steadies it while Listening Wind completes the final ties to create the finished frame which is ready for a covering of reed mats.

Click here for a three-and-a-half minute video of the construction.