Cultural Influences

16 Feb

Native American history is important to me; my personal history links faces and names to many events. My pedigree stems from three tribes, Caddo, Cherokee and Choctaw nations. Forced from South Carolina and Georgia after the first relocation, my family was again supplanted from Tennessee into Arkansas in 1830 via the Trail of Tears. Pictured here is my great, great, great Grandmother Elmire Hammons. She was born in Tennessee, 1829 and as an infant, she was carried across the Trail of Tears via the Southwest Passage.

My current project expresses the last hope of the beleaguered people during this dark time, the Caddo symbol of the entrance to the afterlife – Door to the Other World. Through the Door awaits the peace andCaddo Nation Door to the Other World abundance which existed before the white man. The Door is made up of 2 components, the 8-pointed star, representing the direction of the winds, along with the circle which contains the winds. This symbol is important to the Caddo Nation; so important that it is a dominate a feature of the Caddo Nation Flag. The Door to the Other World will be shown at Artists and Fleas in Brooklyn NY, May 15th 2010.

In a previous project, I expressed my fascination with the Plains Tribes. I love their story; they were the holdouts, fighting long and hard to avoid their inevitable fate. This work is a Lakota Star, called the Eye of Lakota Nation Eye of GodGod. The Lakota began to use quilts bearing this design in religious and ritual ceremonies after the demise of the buffalo. The Star celebrates Life, Love and Relationships. I chose pink as a dominate color to recognize those who demonstrate a similar tenacity to that of the Lakota, who used their strength to overcome cancer. This piece is now held in private collection.

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