The artist, Jolene Rickard, who designed this artwork, worked with a group of Haudenosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) women, who made the six hanging birds. With these artists’ permission, Jolene Rickard used their art as a part of her own art. She explains it this way: “The piece is a collaboration… I provide the frame, but they provide the artistic excellence in the birds they’re making for my piece.”
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is a group of six Indigenous nations (Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora) who came together in one united group, and whose traditional homelands are across what we now call New York State. Many of the women who worked on this artwork are from one of the nations in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, called the Tuscarora Nation.
The beaded design on the birds is known as “beadwork,” and is an important form of Haudenosaunee artwork. The Haudenosaunee artists who took part in this project are a range of ages. The older artists passed knowledge about their artform on to the younger generations.
What knowledge or skills have you learned from older members of your family or community?