Molly Molasses (Mary Pelagie)

Ruth Francis (Penobscot)2010

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
Mashantucket, United States

Molly Molasses (Penobscot) was born around 1775. She lived during a time of great change and hardship for the Penobscot people as their land and traditional lives were altered by the booming timber industry. Molly’s nickname “Molasses” came from a play on the Penobscot pronunciation of her last name. Ironically, some say a lifetime of hardship made Molly bitter and far from “sweet.” Some called her a witch; others acknowledged her as a powerful medicine woman. In any case, she was respected by all and feared by some. She continues to be a powerful symbol of Penobscot traditional ways and survival. Penobscot artists such as Jason Brown and Ruth Francis honor Molly through their art.


  • Title: Molly Molasses (Mary Pelagie)
  • Creator: Ruth Francis (Penobscot)
  • Date: 2010
  • Location: Penobscot
  • Physical Dimensions: Cloth, beads, aluminum, yarn, nylon

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