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Iroquois Games and Dances: Paintings by Tom Two Arrows

March 10 - December 31, 2007

 

The Albany Institute of History & Art is presenting the exhibition Iroquois Games and Dances: Paintings by Tom Two Arrows. The exhibition will showcase the works of Albany artist Thomas J. Dorsey, (1920-1993), also known by his Indian name Tom Two Arrows.

The documentary nature of these paintings reveals Dorsey's first-hand knowledge of the subject matter and his interest in presenting to the viewer the richness and vitality of traditional Iroquois culture. Commentaries will accompany each of the paintings that clearly show an awareness of issues of identity and empowerment for native people that remain relevant today.

At the age of 21, Dorsey, a member of the Delaware (Lenni-Lenapee) tribe and adopted by the Ondondagas (an Iroquois tribe), was commissioned by the Albany Institute of History & Art to create a series of paintings depicting Iroquois games and dances as result of the interest and enthusiasm of John D. Hatch, Jr. who served as Director from 1940-1948. While working on this project, Dorsey spent six weeks on the Ondondaga reservation in Nedrow, near Syracuse, New York.

In 1942, his exhibition Iroquois Games and Dances by Tom Two Arrows, was shown at the Albany Institute. For the next two years the exhibition traveled to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Museum of American Indian, New York City; Denver Art Museum, Southern Plains Indian Museuml Andarko, Olklahoma; and the Rochester Museum and Science Center under the Auspices of the American Federation of the Arts.

Rather than showing Iroquois games and dances as relics of the past, Dorsey argues through his images and text that "the Iroquois, or as they call themselves, the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), are a powerful and sovereign political force in America Today."

 

Wall text for the exhibition

 

Iroquois Games and Dances: Paintings by Tom Two Arrows

Albany artist, Thomas J. Dorsey, (1920-1993), is also known by his Indian name, Tom Two Arrows. At age 21 he was commissioned by the Albany Institute of History & Art to create a series of paintings depicting Iroquois games and dances as a result of the interest and enthusiasm of John D. Hatch, Jr. who served as director from 1940-1948. Dorsey, a member of the Delaware (Lenni-Lenapee) tribe and adopted by the Onondagas (an Iroquois tribe), was a graduate of Albany High School where he studied with Herbert Steinke (1894-1978/79). While working on this project, Dorsey spent six weeks on the Onondaga reservation in Nedrow, near Syracuse, New York.

The documentary nature of these paintings reveals Dorsey's first-hand knowledge of the subject matter and his interest in presenting to the viewer the richness and vitality of traditional Iroquois culture. Dorsey also wrote commentaries for each of the paintings that clearly show an awareness of issues of identity and empowerment for native peoples that remain relevant today. These commentaries have been slightly updated for this exhibition. Rather than showing Iroquois games and dances as relics of the past, Dorsey argues through his images and text that "the Iroquois, or as they call themselves, the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), are a powerful and sovereign political force in America Today."

According to art historian, Dr. Roberta Bernstein, in her essay in 200 Years of Collecting, Dorsey emphasizes the activity as well as the clothing and objects associated with a specific game or dance in his compositions. Figures are rendered abstractly without facial features. Figures and objects are placed against monochrome background, and only minimal space is indicated through overlapping. His painting style, a savvy blending of elements from Native American arts and modernist abstraction, features bright, decorative colors and compositions based on patterning and symmetry.

Included in this exhibition are paintings from the original series, silk-screened prints and manuscript materials in the center case.

January 19- May 26, 2002

 

The Iroquois Confederacy

The Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Iroquois League, was first comprised of five tribes or nations: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. In 1722 the Tuscarora joined and the confederacy became Six Nations. The Iroquois occupied lands in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and across the border in the southern Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Tradition credits the formation of the Confederacy, established between 1570 and 1600, to Dekanawidah, born a Huron, who is said to have persuaded Hiawatha, an Onondaga living among the Mohawks, to abandon cannibalism and advance "peace, civil authority, righteousness, and the great law" as sanctions.

Cemented mainly by their desire to stand together against invasion, the tribes united together with a common council composed of clan and village chiefs; each tribe had one vote and all decisions had to be unanimous. The joint jurisdiction of fifty chiefs, known as sachems, embraced all civil affairs at the intertribal level with the main Onondaga village serving as the meeting place for the Confederacy. After the American Revolution, United States government leaders used the Iroquois Confederacy as a model for planning the new democracy. The autonomy of the states was based on the different Iroquois tribes; the senators and congressmen were like the fifty sachems; and the capital, Washington, D.C. was similar to the Onondaga village.

The longhouse, a distinctive elm bark-covered structure between fifty to one hundred feet long, used in native villages for housing tribal members, was also the symbol of the Iroquois. Metaphorically speaking, the longhouse extended across New York State with the Mohawks guarding the Eastern Door, the Senecas guarding the Western Door and the Onondaga, keepers of the council fires and the wampum records, in the center.

Before the American Revolution the Iroquois carefully retained their autonomy by working with the British against the French, but during the War a split developed between two Iroquois factions. The Oneida and Tuscarora supported the American cause and the rest, under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, supported the British.

In 1784 the Iroquois acknowledged defeat at the Second Treaty of Fort Stanwix. Ten years later at the Canandaigua Treaty, the Iroquois and the United States pledged not to disturb the other in lands that had been relinquished. Of the Six Nations, the Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora remained in New York, eventually settling on reservations; the Mohawk and Cayuga withdrew to Canada; and a generation later the Oneida departed for Wisconsin.

Today, the Iroquois call themselves Haudenosaunee, or People of the Longhouse. There are about sixty thousand Iroquois in the United States and Canada. The paintings in this exhibition reveal significant aspects of Iroquois spirituality and culture.

 

Thomas Dorsey, Jr. or Tom Two Arrows (1920 -1993)

Thomas Dorsey, Jr. was born in Albany where he resided for most of his life. In 1942 his exhibition, Iroquois Games and Dances by Tom Two Arrows, was shown at the Albany Institute of History & Art. For the next two years the exhibition traveled to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Museum of the American Indian, New York City; Denver Art Museum, Southern Plains Indian Museum, Andarko, Oklahoma; and the Rochester Museum and Science Center under the auspices of the American Federation of the Arts.

In 1942 Dorsey joined the United States Art Corps and was stationed in North Carolina where he completed murals in the Service Club on the base depicting scenes of everyday life related to tribes native to that state. After the war Dorsey designed and executed murals and backgrounds for exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, including those for "Masks and Men," "Native Fashions" and "Indians of the Amazon." He created murals for the Consulate of Pakistan in New York City and for Scandinavian Airlines. In 1970, Dorsey was commissioned to make a series of paintings for Indian Quadrangle at the University at Albany, State University of New York. These paintings done on animal hide pay tribute to the tribes of the Iroquois nation.

Dorsey's work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of the American Indian; Pilbrook Museum of Art and Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Denver Art Museum; American Museum of Natural History; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey; the University at Albany, State University of New York and the Albany Institute of History & Art.

Dorsey was the recipient of an "Indian Leadership" grant from the YMCA Indian Guides to teach traditional Indian painting at the Onondaga Indian Reservation to students. He lectured on American Indian arts, crafts and customs in Southeast Asia for the United States Department of State and taught a course at the University at Albany, State University of New York on the relationship of the Indian to his environment and the arts and crafts of the Woodland Indians using natural materials.

During his career Dorsey also illustrated children's books on American Indians such as Eagle Feather by Clyde Robert Bulla and Little Boy Navajo by Virginia Kester Smiley. He also did freelance graphic design and designs for textiles and ceramics.

 

Iroquois Games and Dances

These paintings depict scenes of traditional life among the Onondaga of Central New York, one of six Indian nations making up the political confederacy of the Iroquois of New York State and southern Ontario. The Onondaga are known as "Keepers of the Council Fire". Their important roll as peacekeepers and mediators has encouraged the Ononadaga to maintain a strongly traditional way of life today. The Grand Council of Chiefs meets on the Onondaga Reservation near Syracuse to discuss policy and carry on the business of the present day Confederacy. The Iroquois, or as they call themselves, the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) are a powerful and sovereign political force in America today.

Although the style of these paintings appears to present an old fashion culture long-since disappeared, the fact remains that the Haudenosaunee still conduct these ceremonies, play these games, perform these dances, and sing these songs today wearing modern clothes while doing them. Their languages are used daily and may even be growing, thanks to educational encouragement on some reservations. Traditional life goes on behind the scenes away from media attention, although not immune to it. The Haudenosaunee can be adept at living in today's predominant culture when they need to, although this often brings them enormous problems. But they will find their own way to persist, and so the traditions of the Haudenosaunee will be strengthened in the future.

Most Haudenosaunee ceremonies, held on the reservations in special buildings called "the Longhouse," are not open to the public. Followers of the traditional religious rituals wish to remain private, conducting their special ceremonies only with others sharing their beliefs and language. Iroquois "socials," on the other hand, feature food, games and social dancing in a festive rather than ceremonial context. These activities can be performed for non-Indians.

Tom Two Arrows

1942

 
GA. NU. NI. DIS. SE. NU-U. NU. GA. NUS or I Come From Water
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.2
 
The Haudenosaunee creation story tells how the earth was formed on the back of a giant turtle when the first woman fell through a hole in the Sky World. She gave birth to a daughter, who became the mother of the good and evil twins. After defeating the bad twin in a series of contests, the strong-minded one became the Creator, "Holder of the Heavens," and formed all the parts and inhabitants of the world. He created people, who despite his best efforts still bear some of the capacities of his wicked brother.
 
As people lived on the earth, they often needed guidance from the Creator's messengers. One of these was the Peacemaker, who, along with his translator Hiawatha, brought words of peace to the warring nations and formed the Iroquois Confederacy. Another man of vision was Ganeodiyo (Handsome Lake). In the 18th century he help to bring new life to traditional Haudenosaunee culture by introducing Gai-wiio, or the way to live a good life. His instructions to men and women are recited at ceremonies so that traditional people may remember and follow the right path.
 
 
CA.NAN.DAI.GUA or Treaty of Canandaigua
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.3
 
Signed in November 1794 by the United States government and the chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy, this treaty confirmed the rights of the Confederacy. It established the precedent of sovereignty so important to the Haudenosaunee: the six nations of the Confederacy are separate and equal political entities, joined together in an alliance, comparable in status to the United States and entitled to treatment as sovereign states. Nearly six million acres of land held by the Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga were "guaranteed" by this treaty. Also, it defined the boundaries of Seneca-held lands. The Haudenosaunee value this agreement highly and commemorate its signing every November with a parade and feast in Canandaigua, New York.
 
In the words of Mike Myers, an Onondaga chief:
 
The Iroquois Confederacy is among the world's oldest continuously functioning democracies. In 1784 and 1794 our government concluded treaties with (the U.S) that recognize the political integrity and separateness of our nations and that grant the U.S. land on which to live. These treaties formed the political basis of the Indian nations' relationship to the U.S. But beyond the political reasons for our steadfast refusal to be integrated are spiritual reasons. It is not a mistake that the Creator of life put our people on the earth, gave us our language and beliefs, and provided a model for our political organization that endures to this day.
 
 
SUH.DI.KUN.YA or Let Us Eat
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.4
 
In a small cookhouse adjacent to the longhouse, women prepare corn soup, fry bread and meat stews to feed the participants at festivals and ceremonies. Feasting provides a way for the community to share the fruits of its labor, while giving the dancers and speakers a break from their activities.
 
In the painting, women wear traditional Haudenosaunee clothing: a printed or plain cotton overdress decorated with white beadwork, a dark wool skirt also edged with beads and ribbon work, dark wool beaded leggings and moccasins. Older women wear dark scarves or shawls. The food is served from a large wooden bowl with a wooden ladle, which is often carved with an animal clan symbol such as a bear, heron or turtle.
 
 
WA.HA.DO.WET.TA or Hunting
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.5
 
Traditional Haudenosaunee hunting technology was ingenious and successful. Not only were deer hunted with the bow and arrow, but they could also be snared or herded into enclosures. One estimate calculates that these methods could net up to two thousand deer per season for the nation. Female animals were not killed ­ native people safeguarded their food supply for the future.
 
In addition to deer, all sorts of animals were eaten in the past including beaver, bear, fish, turtles, and pigeons. The hunting method depicted in the painting uses a blowgun for shooting down birds. Usually made of alder wood, the guns could be as long as six feet. Thin arrow-darts with sharpened points were carried in bark quivers, then blown out of the stem by a sharply exhaled breath. Up until the late 19th century these guns were used to discourage robins from eating the ripening fruit of cherry trees.
 
 
DA.HOON.GU.GWA.A.GWA or LaCrosse
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942. 93.7
 
Perhaps the most famous Indian game, lacrosse was first mentioned by the French in 1662. The distinctive Haudenosaunee racket was described as "la crosse" because it resembled a bishop's crozier. The Haudenosaunee believe that lacrosse was first played between the good and bad-minded twins, as a contest expressing the duality of human nature.
 
Even as played today, with boundaries and rules, lacrosse is a game requiring strength and endurance. In the past, players would observe special diets and would train carefully for the long, arduous bouts. The most important part of their preparation would be a statement of thanks to the Creator for the gift of the game. Often a game would be held to enhance the power of medicine if a person was sick ­ the loud, exciting contest between healthy players would attract the Creator's attention.
 
The early games took place without boundaries, over fields and sometimes into woods. Team sizes varied, but were always equal. Games could last for days. The winning team was the one that scored three goals, by hitting a tree or pole three times.
 
 
PE.QUA.NOCK or Cleared Land
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.8
 
Cleared land makes a good place to hold "hoop and spear" games. The young man wearing the turkey plumes has just rolled one of the hoops for his companion to pierce with spear.
 
The Thunder Ceremony, held in April, celebrates the clearing of land for planting. After the War Dance is performed, the hoop and javelin game is played as part of the ritual. As well as an entertainment, Haudenosaunee games represent symbolic contests between the good and dark sides of human nature. Games also provide a way for opposing clan groups to "let off steam." Since all political decisions among the Haudenosaunee must be made unanimously, it becomes important for the society to construct a mechanism for allowing dissent and friendly disagreement.
 
Two teams of from fifteen to thirty players station themselves along a course. One team rolls a wooden ring down the course; the other team aims its six-foot hickory wood javelins at the moving ring. Players who hit the ring win the javelins of the other team; the victorious team is the one winning all the javelins. Sometimes the game is played more as target practice toward a particular object, or as a long distance toss.
 
 
GA.WA.TA or Snow Snake
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.9
 
Snow snake is a popular winter game. The players are dressed in warm winter clothing. After a log has been towed through the snow, forming a track, the players attempt to send their highly polished sticks known as "snakes" gliding down the track as far as possible with the head of the snake in an upright position. "Snakes" can travel up to one hundred miles an hour, and can seem almost alive as they glide. "Snakes" are carved from hard, fine-grained wood such as hickory, maple, ironwood or juneberry. They are polished, carved into a thickened, rounded tip; soaked in water and sometimes oil, dried, sanded, then shellaced. At the tip, the shiner or maker pours melted lead into a slight depression, to provide weight when thrown. These "snakes" are often found in most homes in the summer, waiting the winter betting season.
 
A snow snake maker, called a "shiner,'' knows his craft like a science and has the ability to modify his treatment of a snake to suit weather conditions, like a skier with different waxes. From Lewis H. Morgan's 1851 description: The snake was thrown with the hand by placing the forefinger against its foot, and supporting it with the thumb and remaining fingers. It was thus made to run upon the snow crust with the speed of an arrow, and to a much greater distance, sometimes running sixty or eighty rods.
 
 
GOON.WHI.O.DI.IT.SA or Peach Stone Game
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.10
 
During the Midwinter ceremonies of renewal, held after the first full moon of the New Year, people play this game as an amusement to the Creator. The game reenacts one of the contests between the good twin (Sapling) and the evil twin (Flint) as they struggled for dominance as the first men on earth. Two opponents take turns hitting a flat-bottomed wooden bowl against the floor, bouncing six peach stones inside. The stones, blackened on one side, are counted like dice, depending on how many colored sides turn up. Friends and relatives of players place bets of their valuables, and the winner takes all.
 
The importance of the peach stone game in Haudenosaunee ritual helps us to understand the Iroquois attitude toward gambling. Games of chance are considered to be sacred, played only in ceremonies honoring the Creator. "The message you send back to the Creator is that you are grateful for what you have and willing to share it with others."
 
 
GREEN CORN DANCE
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.13
 
The Green Corn festival, held in August, celebrates the ripening of the staple crops: corn, beans and squash. Called "The Three Sisters," these plants grew from the body of Skywoman's daughter after she died giving birth to the good and evil-minded twins. As the "Life Supporters," corn, beans and squash are honored in this important ceremony that runs for four days. Four central ritual dances and games are performed, faithkeepers recite the long Thanksgiving Address and a feast with social dancing is held.
 
In this painting a singer beats a turtle rattle against a wooden bench, providing the rhythm for dancers. The corn design in the background also appears in many Haudenosaunee decorative arts, such as beadwork, quillwork and silver.
 
We give greetings and thanks to the plant life. Within plants is the force of substance that sustains many life forms among them are good, medicine and beauty. From the time of creation we have seen the various forms of plant life work many wonders in areas deep below the many waters and the highest of mountains. We give greetings and thanks, and hope that we will continue to see plant life for generations to come. (From the Thanksgiving Address.)
 
 
GI.EO.A.O.WAN.NA or Partridge Dance
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.13
 
Also known as the Pigeon Dance, this dance is performing socially rather than as part of a ritual. It is taken from the mating antics of the male and female partridge during spring. This male impersonator is keeping himself aloof from the female as she endeavors to catch his eye with each coy step. The dance concludes with the female getting her way and the dancers leaving the space together.
 
Most Haudenosunee enjoy dancing and participate regularly, even the littlest children who are carried by their dancing parents. The most adept and athletic people are the ones who do the difficult steps of the energetic the War Dance and Smoke Dance.
 
Greatly honored for their skills, good singers have strong, melodious voices and know vast repertories of songs for each dance. To sound the background rhythm, singers shake gourd or horn rattles, or large rattles made from the hollow body of a turtle with dried corn kernels placed inside. Turtle rattles can also be struck against the top of the singers' bench to give the beat.
 
In this painting the singer plays a water drum, a typical Haudenosaunee instrument which they call "the little boy." Made from wood with a skin or hide head, the drum is filled with water then inverted to keep the head wet. When struck with a small, carved, wooden beater, the water drum makes a rich hollow sound.
 
The sense of community and beauty evoked by the music of a singer, his drum, and the dancers can be very powerful. As the Haudenosaunee say, "We do not pray - we dance."
 
 
O-JUN.N-TA.O.WAN.NA or Fish Dance
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.16
 
Extremely popular, especially with younger Haudenosaunee, the Fish Dance allows girls to choose their own partners. Here young men wear their finest beadwork to attract the admiration of the girls. The cut of the clothing and decorations highlights the distinctive Iroquois dress. One of the best and earliest descriptions of the Fish Dance appears in Lewis Henry Morgan's 1851 study of the Iroquois, League of the Haudenosaunee:
 
The two singers seating themselves in the centre of the room facing each other, and using the drum and rattle to mark time, and increase the volumes of the music. The step was merely an elevation from heel to toe, twice repeated upon each foot alternately The dance was commenced by the leader, who took the floor, followed by others, and walked to the beat of the drum. When the song commenced, each alternate dancer faced round, thus bringing the column into sets of two each, face to face, those who turned dancing backwards, but the whole band moving around the roomEach song or tune lasted about three minutes. At the end of the first minute there was a break in the music, and the sets turned, thus reversing their positions; at the end of the second there was another change in the music, in the midst of which the sets turned again which brought them back to their original positions.
 
 
GWEE SAS SE or War Dance
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.14
 
Iroquois war dances are identified by the couched arched neck posture that the dancers assume to the accompaniment of a deep-toned regular beat of a water drum. The head piece is made of deer hair; the position of the eagle feather denotes victory. The dancers carry the traditional Iroquois ball-headed club; the background design is the thunderbird.
 
In earlier times performed as a celebration of military exploits, this dance was transformed by Ganeodiyo (Handsome Lake) into a dance of thanksgiving and encouragement to "Our Grandfathers, the Thunderers, who carry with them water to renew life." The dance is done in April during the Thunder Ceremony, and on the "Life Supporters Day" during Midwinter. The War Dance is always followed by the Peace Dance.
 
The Thunder Dance, is designed to please the spirit of thunder, He-no, when the first thunder of the year is heard. The dancers assemble outside the council house, a faithkeeper makes an opening address and the dance begins. The line of dancers move into the longhouse. He-no delights in war songs and these are to please him. Tobacco is burned and a Thanksgiving speech is made to thank He-no for this help in the past and the future. (From the Code of Handsome Lake.)
 
 
A.GOO.GWA.KA.O-WA.NA or Women' s Dance
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Gouache on composition board, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1942.93.17
 
This dance is a reenactment of the Creation story:
 
When Skywoman fell from the world onto the turtle's back, one of the animals brought her some earth from the land below. She placed this on the turtle, then walked around his back in a circle, following the sun. Because the space was small, her steps were like a shuffle, which is why one women's dance is called the "Shuffle Dance." She formed the land in this way, creating Mother Earth.
 
The Haudenosaunee have always honored women, who have strong social and political roles in society. Descent and property pass from mother to daughter; men and women belong to the clan (extended family lineage) of their mother. Although men become chiefs, it is women who appoint them - and carry the power to remove them from office if necessary.
 
 

Serigraphy or Silkscreen

Printmaking can be divided into four main categories consisting of relief, intaglio, planography, and serigraphy. The oldest form of printmaking dates from the eleventh century and is called relief; woodcuts are the most common. Developed in the fifteen century, intaglio---derived from an Italian word for incise or cut into--- includes all forms of engraving and etching. Planography, first developed in the late eighteenth century is the easiest and least expensive form of printmaking and includes lithography. Although serigraphy or silk screening traces its concept back to fifteenth century stencil-colored prints, the technique was developed for commercial purposes in the 1920s. By the late 1930s artists began using the silkscreen print process because of its technical simplicity.

The two serigraphic prints shown here are early examples of this process. According to his family, Tom Two Arrows was particularly adept with this process. To make a silk- screened print, a design is drawn onto a screen of silk or nylon. The areas not to be printed are masked by liquid glue or stencils. Ink is then forced through the screen with a squeegee. The image, printed on paper or any other flat surface such as cloth, mylar, or metal, is created by the holes in the screen through which the ink is allowed to pass. Serigraphs generally involve two or more colors, requiring a separate screen for each color.

 
RUNNING DEER
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Color silkscreen on paper, 1942
AIHA Purchase, 1943.103.2
 
The deer represents the source of many essentials of life to native people. In addition to food, the deer provides bone for tools and gaming pieces, sinew for thread, skins for clothing, horn for tools, hooves for dance rattles. The Haudensaunee admiration for the qualities of the deer is shown by its adoption as one of the nine clan animals. The symbol for a chief's authority is a set of deer antlers placed upon his gustoweh or headdress.
 
We give thanks and greetings to all animals of which we know the names. They are still living in the forest and other hidden places and we see them sometimes. Also from time to time they are still able to provide us with food, clothing, shelter and beauty, This gives us happiness and peace of mind because we know that they are still carrying out their instructions as given by the Creator. (From Thanksgiving Address.)
 
 
TWO WOMEN POUNDING CORN
Thomas J. Dorsey or Tom Two Arrows (1920-1993)
Color silkscreen on paper, c. 1943
Gift of Tom and Donna Nelson, 1993.40
 
 


 

(above: Thomas J. Dorsey, Jr. (Tom Two Arrows) (1920-1993), A Goo Gwa Ka O-Wa Na or Women's Dance, 1942, gouache on composition board, ht. 20 1/16 in., w. 16 inches, inscribed, lower left: "A GOO GWA KA O-WA NA"; signed, lower right: "DORSEY". Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, 1942.93.17)

 

 

(above: Thomas J. Dorsey, Jr. (Tom Two Arrows) (1920-1993), Da Hoon Gu Gwa A Gwa or Lacrosse, 1942, gouache on composition board, ht. 20 1/8 in., w. 16 inches, inscribed, upper left: "DA HOON GU GWA A GWA"; signed, lower right: "DORSEY", Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, 1942.93.7)

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