Photo gallery: Getting punkah’d at Natchez National Historical Park

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Artist Montana Torrey spent Friday on the grounds of Melrose hanging her version of a punkah from the limbs of the live oak tree behind the historic mansion. Punkahs are large fans hung from a frame that were used in the dining rooms of some antebellum house in Natchez and across the South. The fans were also used throughout India and southeast Asia.  Torrey created her version out of cloth and other lightweight materials that would move in the breeze. As a way to investigate the cultural influences of the punkah, Torrey made her version look more like the punkahs used in Asia. During the installation, Torrey encouraged visitors to Melrose and the Natchez National Historical Park to interact with her artwork. From the Washington, D.C., area, Torrey currently splits time between Durham, North Carolina, and Thailand.