"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
The beautiful art of Michelle Lowden, from Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.
While at the Hibulb Cultural Center, I came across this beautiful Lisa Telford woven basket necklace. The detail and beauty of this piece really spoke to me. It reminded me of the woven kete we have in New Zealand. I was told that small baskets like this could be used to carry prayers and wishes of the wearer.
"As a Gawa Git’ans Git’anee Haida weaver she comes from a long line of weavers including her grandmother, mother, aunt, cousins and daughter. Lisa harvests and prepares her own material, using red and yellow cedar bark and spruce root. The gathering of materials takes her hundreds of miles from home and hours of preparation that vary depending on the final product. Bark is traditionally stored for one year and then must be processed further. Her baskets may be seen in the collections of The Oregon Historical Society, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Heard Museum, The Portland Art Museum, and The Burke Museum."
On our last trip to New Zealand, we went to visit my Mom's cousins, Memory and Ralph Hamon in Rotorua. Uncle Ralph is a talented carver who works with both bone and pounamu (Maori Greenstone or Jade). It was our first time meeting them, but Uncle and Aunty were so gracious to us and gifted us each a beautiful taonga.
My piece is a beautiful, pounamu piece with red coloring at the bottom and a fern koru carved into it. The red in the jade gets brighter in the sunlight and is said to be the blood of our Maori people inside the stone. Ronan's piece is a small pounamu pendant with three koru's or fern leaves carved into it to represent me, my husband, and Ronan. It was carved by my nephew Dion, Uncle Ralph's grandson. Last, Greg's piece is the powerful solid Koru (Spiral) carved from whale bone.
Uncle walked over to his whale bone section, very rare and very special, and grabbed the Koru and placed it on Greg's neck and said, "This one is for you!"
We also purchased a beautiful Whale Tale Pounamu pendant because it reminded us of Paikea, and my Ngati Porou ancestry.
His work is amazing and we are so honored to wear his pieces all the time.
We love you Uncle Ralph and Aunty Memory!
"Local Artist from Rotorua shares his impressive craftsmanship through one & many of natures beautiful stones, featured next is New Zealand Greenstone "Pounamu" the traditional Tiki.
Ralph comes from a family not short of many talents in the creative arts area and his shop is located at the well known Village of "Whakarewarewa" where you may even catch him in action sculpting his next master piece."
"Tongues speak. Teeth can bite."
On our trip to Canada back in March, we stopped by 8th Generation at Pike Place Market. The shop was full of amazing art pieces created by #InspiredNatives, but I was immediately drawn to this pair of earrings designed by Louie Gong, the owner. The woman working at the shop told me that they were titled "Strength" and that Louie had designed them as a tribute to the women in his tribe because they are fierce protectors of culture and their posterity. The earrings are designed to look like a wolf's mouth just like a mother wolf would be a fierce protector of her cubs.
I really liked the explanation and could identify with it because I was always told growing up that the women of my Maori tribe, Ngati Porou, were figures of strength and participated in leadership roles and in the protecting and preservation of culture.
According to the description from his website:
This original "Strength" earring design by Louie Gong (Nooksack) developed organically from his signature art style, which often includes symbols of empowerment such as oversized teeth, tongues, and claws. Here, the hand-painted wood compliments northwest Native art traditions ,while ensuring that every single earring has a unique wood grain and paint job that can never be duplicated. This compliments the bold contemporary finish of the body and tongue, which is made of acrylic. The metal jump ring and hook have a gun metal finish.
Louie Gong (Nooksack), founder of Eighth Generation, is a self-taught artist who was raised by his grandparents in the Nooksack tribal community in northwest Washington...Louie’s unique style merges traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his mixed heritage and urban environment to create work that resonates widely across communities and cultures.
My new latest fashion obsession are my hand-beaded, custom-made, earrings by Mia Woody.
I literally have been wearing them everywhere and can't wait to get more.
I met Mia at our Lularoe Aiono Sisters pop-up party in Flagstaff, Arizona and fell in love with her work. I had been given the heart earrings prior to meeting her and loved her work already, but when I was able to see the range of styles and detail up close, my love turned into full blown obsession.
Mia Woody is a beautiful Navajo woman and her beadwork is impressive, modern, and elegant.
Everywhere I go, people are complementing me on my earrings and I feel beautiful wearing them.
Follow Mia Woody on: