What a name for an island. For a very small island, at the western end of the Elizabeth Islands, which in their east to west string, separate Buzzards Bay from Vineyard Sound. The Wampanoag name, “Poocuohhunkkunnah”, means “point of departure” or “land’s end”. That jumble of native syllables was too much for invading English tongues, who reduced and altered the aboriginal sounds to make the word “Cuttyhunk”.
There is a little church on Cuttyhunk.
A little Methodist Church.
With a nifty weathervane.
How many churches have a striped bass weathervane?
I especially like the date, 1881, because it’s palindromic.
Inside, the building is small, unfancy, with old-fashioned textured tin walls and ceiling.
Inside the church may be found one of the folk wonders of New England.
The quahog shell (wampum) mosaics of Manny Sarmento.
I know too little to tell you much about about Manny, except I was told that he was a caretaker in these parts. On small, isolated islands in the dead of winter, there isn’t much to do. So Manny made mosaics. Of shells picked up from the shore.
Some of these mosaics are religious, and have found their way to the Cuttyhunk Methodist Church.
There’s a wonderful Saint Francis.
Thank you, Manny, for your labor of patience and love.