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Friday, February 6, 2009

Sea Gods, Fishermen, and Whalemen

Continuing with our look at a couple of statues this week, above is a statue from New Bedford’s Tonnessa Park, on the “Dock Walk”. We move from an historical figure to a representation of a mythical one. The 10-foot sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington was described as a mythical sea god when she offered the statue to the city in 1962. Neptune isn’t mentioned in the description, but if it’s not of Neptune, perhaps he had brothers.

The mighty myth, whoever he is, holds a cod in his left hand, and a sturgeon in his right, with a collection of marine life at his feet. More than a fanciful work of art, it is a memorial, according to the sculptress, of “those seamen whose only graves are on the ocean floor.”

Standing before a working harbor, the “Memorial to Whalemen and Fishermen” is a reminder that a life, or a job, at sea carries great risk. It also reminds us that those who are lost are not forgotten.

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