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Up close with our ancestor's work, Michelle Defoe visits the Historical Archives

Visiting the Minnesota Historical Society is an important piece to this makizinikewin project.  It helped me to see up close the various styles and designs of how our elders made makizinan before us.  I am a young learner and I'm grateful for each experience that allows me to learn more.  I was in awe of the beauty and mastery or each artist's design.  It reminded me that I still have a lot to learn to get to that level of sewing and beadwork.  I was very inspired and moved by looking at each piece.   One thing in particular that was inspiring to me was the artist's ability to improvise with materials, fixing mistakes and altering patterns. Some of the makizinan...

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Becoming our grandmothers

Nookomis Obagijigan met with one of our mentors and teachers, expert Wendy Savage for food and conversation yesterday.  Wendy is a self taught moccasin, beadwork, and sewing expert. Wendy belongs to a family of extraordinary, award winning artists and educators.  When asked who taught her Wendy says "We taught ourselves!  We went to museums.  We went to the library.  We spent time with those old ladies.  We didn't have the internet."     For Agaton Howes, Wendy is instrumental in her understanding of Ojibwe art "Wendy is who taught me about the meaning behind our floral designs.  She taught me about valuing myself as an artist.  She is always there willing to share everything she knows.  I try to emulate her in...

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"Nookomis Obagijigan" Our Grandmother's Gift, Makizinikewin Project commences

Nookomis Obagijigan "Our Grandmother's Gift, a Makizinikewin Project has been awarded a Minnesota Historical Society Residency for 2018-2019.  House of Howes artist, Sarah Agaton Howes, "When a person is learning the art of their grandmothers there is frustration, insecurity, excitement, and hope.  My favorite moment in moccasin classes is when the maker turns their moccasin right side out.  They have been, no doubt, struggling, poking themselves, questioning themselves, and then they flip them around. This is the moment when they become their grandmothers.  Cultural arts are a gift from our ancestors to us."  The project will interview artists and elders, create an online moccasin patterning tutorial, collaborate with Ojibwemowin speakers on providing instruction in the language, and creating a pattern book and...

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