Am I an Indian Artist?
Seems the subject of “Who is a REAL Indian?’ and “Who’s a REAL Indian Artist?”
is out in the wind again , especially after news about the proposed amendment to the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.
Where ever $$ is to be made, here comes the fakes, frauds and schemers, and innocent people feeling cheated.
Money has a nasty reputation of making enemies, dividing people , and cultivates all kinds of scams.
I didn’t read about the proposal till after our Longhouse ceremonies, too busy carrying on duties of our sacred ceremonies
too busy working on critical Wyandot language revitalization work, creating Wyandot language lessons, planning for our Green Corn
rolling coils, painting pots and fletching arrows to sit at the computer and ponder “hmmm… Am I an “Indian Artist?”
Since there is no word in Wyandot for “Indian” and also no word for “Artist”, we’re talking “foreign ideas” here.
My Wyandot ancestors probably wouldn’t have pondered such English concepts. They just made things, traded for things and got along ok
without anyone checking to see if they had an official federal government sanctioned CDIB card in their wallet.
I’m just a die-hard traditionalist enrolled Wyandot who makes stuff. But am I a bona fide “Indian Artist?”
Honestly I’m not sure US Federal Government legal qualifications would put me in that particular file cabinet.
So “Indian ART” buyers – RED ALERT!!! This Wyandot, Richard Zane Smith , might NOT officially qualify as an “Indian Artist”.
I am who I am and I hate deception as much as anyone else. so you decide!
Richard Zane Smith
named Sohahiyo, in the Wendat Longhouse in Wendake Quebec , a direct descendant of Tarhe, the Crane,
enrolled with the Wyandot Nation of Kansas , seems “state recognized” depending on the Kansas Governor elected.
maker of stuff (Art?) known as a cultural activist, revitalizationist, Wyandot language teacher, traditional singer and a seated speaker at ceremonies.