African Burying Ground Trust - 1 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 610-7226
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Entry Piece
This working model provides an opportunity to apply much more detail to the initial concept of these figures. And while that is the case, further detailing, including buttons, jewelry and clothing patterns, will be incorporated once the figures are rendered into life size scale. What this model is intended to convey is described below.

The Male Figure is presented as a strong, able bodied, and thoughtful individual who is suddenly faced with the uncertainty and demands of his reality as an enslaved person arriving in a new and distant land. His attire is modest, including a rope for a belt, clothing which in many ways seems ill suited for his broad, noble and commanding frame. His large stature speaks to the strength of character required to have endured the horrors of the middle passage and the indignity of being enslaved. He turns his head in the direction of the memorial that lies beyond, casting his gaze along the epic journey that has brought him and us to this present day commemoration. His left hand is placed around the edge of the large stone slab - reaching back in time, searching across the distance, longing for a sense of the human connection that has been undone by the insensitivity of others.

The Female Figure is depicted in a contemplative state, her face conveying a mixture of deep emotional loss countered by determined hope. She is tall in stature and attired in a headdress and clothing indicative of what she would typically wear in her village in Africa (some jewelry will be added in the final rendering.) Her strength lies in the strained and yet unbroken connection she has with her loved ones taken so far away. She leans in the direction of the male on the opposite side of the stone barrier, her right hand searching for him around the edge of the slab
- a posture and gesture serving as a profound indication of that which she has been separated from.

The Hand of each figure reaches towards the other around the edge of the large granite slab. It is in this way that they indicate that they are very much aware of one another in spite of the unfathomable circumstances that have torn them apart. After lengthy discussion with the Burying Ground Committee regarding placement of these hands, it was decided that their hands should not actually touch, but rather, be positioned about an inch or so apart. This placement and gesture speaks emotionally to both the act of separation which was initiated back in 1645 (and onward), as well as present day efforts towards recognition, reconnection and reconciliation as embodied in the memorial being created by the community at this time.