'Hail to the Sunrise' – Charlemont, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

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'Hail to the Sunrise'

Charlemont, Massachusetts

A monument to the Mohawk people stands along an old Native American trade route.  


The Mohawk Trail, an old footpath used by Native Americans, that winds through what’s now Massachusetts, is a beautiful, historic area to explore.Though it bears the Mohawk name, the trail was used by many tribes, including the Mohican, the Wampanoag, and the Pocumtuck. Coming across this monument is a pleasant surprise for those wandering along the trail.

Hail to the Sunrise features a striking statue of a Native American man dressed in traditional clothing. Facing east, he gazes upward, his arms outstretched as if to embrace the rising sun and greet the Great Spirit. A reflecting pool sits nearby, constructed from 100 stones inscribed by various tribes and councils.

The monument was erected to commemorate the five Mohawk Nations that lived within western Massachusetts and nearby New York. The Mohawks who traveled along the old trade route were friendly to the white settlers.

Hail to the Sunrise was unveiled in October of 1932 and was created by sculptor Joseph Pollia. More than 2,000 people gathered to witness this monument to the region’s Native American heritage.

Know Before You Go

The area around Charlemont has other touristy Native American attractions worth checking out if you are interested.

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