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The Ramapos

The Ramapos

The Ramapos explores the diverse history of the Ramapo Mountains, a section of the Appalachians, which extend from Northern New Jersey into the Southern borders of New York state. The Ramapos have long been home to the Ramapough Lenape Nation, an Algonquian-speaking tribe of the Lenni-Lenape. During the American Revolution, and following, the Ramapos also became home to former Hessian mercenaries and British soldiers, Dutch and former slaves of NY's Dutch community, and migrant members of other Native American tribes.

 

(Detail) Buck-step Dancing,... 2007.

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 Hessian mercenaries were sold by German royalty to the highest bidder during the American Revolution. Most were unable to return to their families in Germany, and many ended up abandoning their posts during the war. Several landed in the Ramapo Mountains, drifting North from battles in New York.             (Detail) Heading North,...2007

Hessian mercenaries were sold by German royalty to the highest bidder during the American Revolution. Most were unable to return to their families in Germany, and many ended up abandoning their posts during the war. Several landed in the Ramapo Mountains, drifting North from battles in New York.

 

 

 

(Detail) Heading North,...2007

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 As the Industrial Revolution began to set up shop along rivers in New York and New Jersey, a previously rural environment was forever changed. However, many Native and non-Native traditions of food foraging continued alongside the development, such as the gathering of starchy Arrowhead roots, and cattails, along the Ramapo River.             (Detail) Gathering Arrowhead,...2007.

As the Industrial Revolution began to set up shop along rivers in New York and New Jersey, a previously rural environment was forever changed. However, many Native and non-Native traditions of food foraging continued alongside the development, such as the gathering of starchy Arrowhead roots, and cattails, along the Ramapo River.

 

 

 

(Detail) Gathering Arrowhead,...2007.

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                    (Detail)  Nellie Mann ,...2007    

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Detail) Nellie Mann,...2007

 

  Nellie Mann was hired by Barnum & Bailey as a circus performer in the 1930’s, and was subsequently billed as a 'wild aborigine girl from Australia.' When she protested, demanding to be called ‘a beautiful American albino, from our own Ramapo Mountains,’ she was fired. Mann became, however, somewhat of a local celebrity when the incident was reported in the New Yorker magazine   in 1938  , in an article by journalist George Weller.          (Detail)  Nellie Mann ,...2007

Nellie Mann was hired by Barnum & Bailey as a circus performer in the 1930’s, and was subsequently billed as a 'wild aborigine girl from Australia.' When she protested, demanding to be called ‘a beautiful American albino, from our own Ramapo Mountains,’ she was fired. Mann became, however, somewhat of a local celebrity when the incident was reported in the New Yorker magazine in 1938, in an article by journalist George Weller. 

 

(Detail) Nellie Mann,...2007

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                    (Detail)  Iron-working Families ,... 2007.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Detail) Iron-working Families,... 2007.

 

  A great vein of iron ran through the Ramapo Mountains; the metal extracted from it became part of the ammunition for all of the U.S.’s first three wars, the Brooklyn Bridge, and later, large amounts of automotive steel. As greater amounts of it were discovered in the mountains, more and more Ramapo Mountain people became mining and iron-working families. By   the forties, hundreds of mines existed in the Ramapo area. Through the following decades, the Southern edge of the Ramapos became a cultural hub for writers and artists such as William Carols Williams, Alan Ginsberg, Robert Smithson, and Bruce Springsteen.     (Detail)  The Iron-working Families ,... 2007.

A great vein of iron ran through the Ramapo Mountains; the metal extracted from it became part of the ammunition for all of the U.S.’s first three wars, the Brooklyn Bridge, and later, large amounts of automotive steel. As greater amounts of it were discovered in the mountains, more and more Ramapo Mountain people became mining and iron-working families. By the forties, hundreds of mines existed in the Ramapo area. Through the following decades, the Southern edge of the Ramapos became a cultural hub for writers and artists such as William Carols Williams, Alan Ginsberg, Robert Smithson, and Bruce Springsteen.

(Detail) The Iron-working Families,... 2007.

                     Ford, Steel, and Coming of Age in the Ramapos, 1970 , 36.5" x 42.5", collaged drawing, mixed media, 2007.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford, Steel, and Coming of Age in the Ramapos, 1970, 36.5" x 42.5", collaged drawing, mixed media, 2007.

 

  Ford Motor Company had one of its main factories in the Ramapo Mountains, which did boost local economy for years. However, decades later it was discovered that Ford had been illegally dumping tons of toxic paint sludge in nearby swamps and caves, which had seeped into the groundwater supply. Minor reparations have been made, but over thirty years later, legal deliberations between Ford and the Ramapough Lenape continue. By the end of the 21st century, the Ramapo Mountains had become increasingly industrialized, and as waves of new immigrants populated the region, even more ethnically diverse.     (Detail)  Steel, Ford, Coming of Age, ... 2007. 

Ford Motor Company had one of its main factories in the Ramapo Mountains, which did boost local economy for years. However, decades later it was discovered that Ford had been illegally dumping tons of toxic paint sludge in nearby swamps and caves, which had seeped into the groundwater supply. Minor reparations have been made, but over thirty years later, legal deliberations between Ford and the Ramapough Lenape continue. By the end of the 21st century, the Ramapo Mountains had become increasingly industrialized, and as waves of new immigrants populated the region, even more ethnically diverse.

(Detail) Steel, Ford, Coming of Age,... 2007. 

                     Spring-time in the Ramapo Mountains, Matty Price Hill, 2007  ,  36.5" x 42.5", collaged drawing, mixed media, 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring-time in the Ramapo Mountains, Matty Price Hill, 2007, 36.5" x 42.5", collaged drawing, mixed media, 2007.

                    (Detail)  Springtime in the Ramapo Mountains ,... 2007.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Detail) Springtime in the Ramapo Mountains,... 2007.

 

 

                    (Detail)  Springtime in the Ramapo Mountains ,... 2007.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Detail) Springtime in the Ramapo Mountains,... 2007.