My painting is symbolic of the traditional items that I can remember from growing up and being taught. I still remember the Wampum belts being used as a guide to narrate the Haudenosaunee history, traditions and laws. I can still taste the traditional foods (berries, beans, corn) that we used to grow and eat; that we used for ceremonies. That pipe represents the burning of that tobacco that we smoke and lay down to offer prayers and give thanks to all the living things—plants, animals, water, the sun and the moon—which provide us all on mother earth with what we need to survive.
Artist: Joseph Sickles, age 38
I am of Iroquois Confederation from Oneida First Nation; Bear Clan.