Sculptural (layered) watercolor with Iroquois raised beadwork using Czech glass beads, framed in cherry finish wood with archival materials and conservation glass, grey-blue mat, 2020:
Seeds are spiritually meaningful to Indigenous Peoples. They are believed to be living, breathing, beings who are our relations. It is our responsibility to care for them and they, in return, provide us with food to live and for the future. They are a part of our cosmology and our creation story. Our white corn can be traced back to our traditional homeland in (what is now) upstate New York.
We seek to preserve our heirloom corn seed, as well as the other sacred sisters, beans and squash, for future generations within a symbol of cycles and eternal life. In a time of climate change it is necessary to protect our Native foods for future generations, despite drought, global warming, storms and floods, famine, and yes, disease and viruses from changes in our environment and habits. “Preservation” honors the seeds as well as other endangered traditional foods and cultural essentials such as salmon and Quahog shells; it is a prayer for protection. We give thanks, Yaw^ko.