Manataka American Indian Council
Traditions, Change & Celebration:
Native Artists of the Southeast
816 Bull St, Columbia, SC 29208
The McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina will host a year-long exhibit entitled, Traditions, Change & Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast.
As a part of the opening for the exhibit, the Museum held FolkFabulous on the historic Horseshoe at USC. The goal of the event is to spotlight artists in the exhibit and to bring together members of the Native American communities throughout the Southeast for a celebration with the interested public.
(left) Roger Amerman's beautifully beaded Choctaw Frontier Jacket
He is one of over 40 artists that will be exhibited from over 9 states and over 25 distinct Native American Indian tribal nations and cultures presented in the exhibition. Of course the historic "Five Civilized Tribes" are featured and have significant presence in the exhibition including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole.
Yet we also have a wonderful collection of Pamunkey Indian Pottery from Virginia, who just recently gained federal recognition, highlighting their Chief Kevin Brown's pottery.
We also have art from the Poarch Band Creeks, the basketry of John Paul Darden of the Chitimatcha Indians of Louisiana, Bill Harris of the Catawba Indian Nation's pottery.
Roger Amerman is known for his Plateau pictorial-style beadwork and depicting the icons, motif and heritage of the Choctaw/ Southeast tribal people through his finished product. The result of embracing and investing himself in these two artistic beadwork traditions is masterful creations exhibiting endless creativity and exciting designs, beadwork in motion with a rich visual vocabulary. Roger’s designs also include “lane” and “contour” style beadwork using an overlay stitch. He is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation, his heritage and family history playing a significant role in his inspiration for designs. “My Choctaw kin originally come from Atoka and Stephens counties,” he explained. Roger’s great-grandfather is the late Redmond Bond, born in Indian Territory at the end of the Civil War, and his grandparents are the late Andrew Wright and Alice Bond Wright.
Throughout his time as a Choctaw artist Roger has earned many awards through exhibitions and various competitions. He received “Best of Show” in September 2004 at the first annual Choctaw Nation Art Show in Tushka Homma and received the same title in the 2006 show. Along with his awards, Roger has also conducted special presentations and received several honors and recognitions. He has held the role of guest lecturer and instructor, showing his care in spreading the Choctaw heritage through teaching beadwork.
He has also been the focus of articles in publications. “I am motivated to tap into the vast richness of Choctaw and southeast art heritage and couple it with my technical beadwork skills and knowledge,” said Roger. “I want to help bring it to the forefront of native artistic traditions in North America.” In this exhibit his full length, full buckskin and partially beaded, highly ornate southeast Choctaw cut frontier jacket was commissioned by Mckissick Museum and will serve as a centerpiece for this exhibit “This coat is by far my largest project to date, and I have never shown it to the public,” he said. “I call it the Sistine Chapel of my beadwork efforts.” After graduating high school, he attended college at the University of Oregon, earning his bachelor’s degree in geology. He went on to earn his master’s in geology from Colorado School of Mines and his master’s in natural resource science from Washington State University. Roger and wife Carolyn Jackson Amerman have four sons, Douglas Jackson, Darren, Dawson and Preston. Darren and Dawson are currently attending college in Washington and Idaho, and Carolyn, Preston and Roger live on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho.
Antonio Grant is Navajo, Cherokee and Sioux. He is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of Cherokee, NC. Antonio comes from a long, line of family artisans and credits his mother and father for his skills as an artist. He has been involved in various mediums including beadwork, carving, sculpting, textiles, weaving, painting, basketry and silverwork. From this exposure at an early age, Antonio has developed his own style of artwork, specializing in shell carving. He is inspired by the creation story and legends of the Cherokee Tribe as reflected in the various design choices of his work. He is a first generation shell carver, having learned his art form from renowned shell-carver, Dan Townsend. Antonio utilizes Lightening Whelk, Melon Shell, Freshwater Muscle, Wampum Shell, and several other types of shell in his carving. He incorporates trade beads, seed beads, and silver to embellish his work.
Will Moreau Goins (Cherokee/Tuscarora-Cheraw)-2008 SC Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. Will Moreau Goins has dedicated his life to preserving Native American music traditions, beadwork, and storytelling. An enrolled member of his tribe. His artistic inclinations were passed down by family members, matriarchs, and those who continued the traditions in his large extended family. The son of Cherokee artist Elsie Taylor Goins, Goins traces his musical heritage back to the ancient chants of the indigenous cultures of the Southeast. Goins continues the beadwork tradition of his great aunt Corrie Sisney, utilizing Cherokee woodland floral patterns. He credits other mentors and Native “Wisdom Keepers” for their influence to his artistry including: Walker Calhoun, Arnold Richardson, Bob Moore, Frank Shore Semu Haute, Marie Rogers, Bill Camby, Wesley Studi and Dorothy Taylor. Goins has worked with Native American people, organizations, and agencies for over thirty years and has an integral role as Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc. This non-profit organization is “dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of South Carolina Native American history, culture, and heritage.”
Luther "Toby" Hughes, Cherokee National Treasure Craftsman . The Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. and the Cherokee Nation partnered in 1988 to create the Lost Arts Program focusing on the preservation and revival of cultural arts. A new designation was created for Master Craftsmen who not only mastered their art, but passed their knowledge on to the next generation. Luther “Toby” Hughes was designated as “Living National Treasures” in 1994. He is an enrolled member of the Keetowah Band Of Cherokee Indians. Toby was born in Westville, Oklahoma, and was raised by his full-blood Cherokee grandfather, a member of the Nighthawk Keetoowah Society, who taught Toby the traditions, religion and heritage of the Cherokees. At an early age, Toby began to carve on wood that he gathered from the forests throughout his homeland. Equipped with just a knife and the teachings of his grandfather, he soon mastered the traditional art of carving. He is known for his wood carvings and beadwork.
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