Page 15 - IACA Journal, Spring 2012

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possess a well formed, classical shape. Instead of rustic scorch marks, the exterior
of this pottery has a soft white glow. These works tend to focus on the low relief
carvings which compose the pot’s theme. The clean look of the white clay allows
for a clear view of the carved images. ...
Her nontraditional methods and contemporary characteristics left some collectors
puzzled during her early years working with the Indian market. Since then she
has developed a large following and won many awards, including Best of Show
and Best of Division awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum
Indian Market, ...and Artist of the Year from the Indian Arts and Crafts Associ-
ation. ...
...When she looks back at her family history, she feels a sense of gratitude to be
the first generation of her people to live in a time when she is not forcibly con-
strained by prejudice. “I’ve noticed that in the generations of women before me,
there [have] been some remarkable women in my tribe that the world will never
know. My grandmother didn’t get the opportunity to be asked by the public, a
museum, or any organization to show up and talk about what she knew. So a lot
of what she did went unknown by the world at large. I live in a time where I am
asked to do that. And so, I recognize that I’m probably the first generation of my
people who has [that] freedom. My grandmother didn’t get those opportunities,
and I don’t want to squander that.”
As Pahponee’s pottery skills continue to evolve, the long term vision for her work
becomes clearer. She has created a design theme which appears on several of her
pots. She calls it “All My Relations.” This design represents the many people, an-
imals, plants, and symbols which have come together to inspire her work and
impact her life. “All My Relations” is part of an indigenous North American
prayer. It acknowledges and honors all creatures, spirits, ancestors, and people
who share our world with us. It is a prayer of welcome which states that we are
all relatives. Pahponee is continually discovering new ‘relations’ which impact
her art on a spiritual level and always find a place in her work. ...
Traditional Kickapoo arts include carved wooden items, quillwork, and silk ap-
plique. The Kickapoo have a strong artistic tradition that centers on performance.
Items such as masks, ceremonial clothing, and musical instruments are commonly
made by tribal members. Like many Native traditions, the Kickapoo practice an
animistic religion and believe that all things natural to the universe possess a soul.
They perform the Green Corn, Elk, and Buffalo dances, among many others,
and hold several large powwows throughout the year.
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