Gold ’N Values
11” X 6.5” X 6.5”
Arches watercolor paper printed with archival inks, acrylic paint, artificial sinew, copper foil
The bulk of the text included in this weaving is the Cherokee Morning Song, which was traditionally sung at dawn to greet the day in a sacred manner. Hand-written in the Cherokee syllabary, it does not translate easily into English but it reinforces traditional Cherokee belief that each day is beautiful; the Creator guides us in all we do and we are grateful.
Once gold was discovered in Cherokee country in 1829, the settlers were even more aggressive about wanting to own the rich, fertile land identified as Cherokee land. A handful of Cherokee men signed a document agreeing to the U.S. government’s proposed removal terms which would relocate the Cherokee east of the Mississippi, called the Treaty of New Echota. The tribe objected that these men did not have the authority to represent them as they were not elected councilmen, and collected Cherokee signatures from most of the tribal members in protest. Reproductions of some
of the signatures from the 95 page document have been included in this piece. They are combined with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, used illegally by Andrew Jackson to support his subsequent forced removal of southeastern tribes in what became known as The Trail of Tears.
Indian people place their connection to their ancestral motherland above everything else while the dominant white culture idolizes the almighty dollar. This Cherokee single- weave basket is a comment on the conflicting value that land holds among different people.