In this black ash strawberry basket by artist Kelly Church (Odawa/Pottawatomi), the black ash and sweetgrass blossoms and miniature strawberries hanging from the blossom vines represent the future generations. The doll on top is the “grandmother,” who watches over those to come. Tribes throughout the Great Lakes and Northeast give strawberry baskets in ceremonies to honor life events, such as births, and during the time of “our strawberry moon,” says Church. She is among the artists speaking at the Thoughts of Our People from “Hearts of Our People” symposium at NMAI on March 28.
“Grandmother Strawberry,” Kelly Church, 2016; 17" x 14"; black ash, Rit dye, sweetgrass, velvet, buckskin, seed beads, thread, artificial hair, wire and cotton stuffing.