Native Americans use art to 'tell our stories'
Wanesia Misquadace, however, relies largely on her
"Birch bark is the strength of our people," Misquadace said. "It's used in our baskets and canoes and (the bitings) as a means to tell our stories."
Misquadace also uses elements of birch-bark work in jewelry making, a skill learned from her Navajo husband, Fritz Casuse. This has led to her latest work, The Essence of the Lake Collection. Essence is a series of silver jewelry and ornate pieces decorated with birch bark and semiprecious and precious stones.
"I'm contemporizing the traditional use of birch bark by using silver and wood," she said. "It's very organic. I'm making it my own."
Wanesia was among 700 American Indian artists chosen to showcase their work at the 53rd Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market last month. From Florida to Alaska, nearly every North American tribe was represented. The weekend festival featured art demonstrations, dance performances, author signings and cultural food vendors.
It's that diversity, both
in artwork and cultures, that helps educate visitors.
Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
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