Women of Color about town.

If it is hard to find statues honoring women it is usually even harder to find statues honoring women of color, but I was able to come up with a few.

I found a couple near the local art museum.  They have installed a number of representations of women of color (because we are so fascinating and exotic).

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This statue has some stylized Hopi maidens performing a basket dance.  This is done in October to ensure a good harvest.

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This one is a deer dance and the women are holding a deer foreleg.  It propitiates the deer spirit and helps to bring good hunting.

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Stylized southwestern mother and child.

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Una mujer, pero baille con un hombre.   Unlike the other statues this woman is made of fiberglass.

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Perhaps the most under-represented group (at least locally) are the green-skinned women, the mermaids.  Once again we have the spectrum of female experience: virgin, mother, crone.

Women about town

Well I decided to look for art honoring women and it was pretty slim pickings, but I did come up with a few.

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This is the only statue honoring an individual woman.  She wrote a well-known song about the mountain “America the Beautiful”.  So her statue gets to actually face the mountain.

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This woman representing the pioneering spirit is paired with a man, but all that’s visible from this angle is his rifle.

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This dancing dame is on a revolving pedestal, so it is a little difficult to capture her face.  The man seems to be in charge.

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This is a more typical bit of art.   Woman as part of a rock.

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These young women are part of a larger grouping, bookended by  young men.

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I think this rather dated (it was so modern in 1963) grouping used to be downtown before it was moved near the art museum.

I think this lot covers the spectrum of womanhood: virgin, mother and crone.

Who are these people?

I last posted a corner of a room, and just barely visible at the bottom of one are a collection of photos.   Here’s the scoop on a few of the vintage photos.

granny

This is my paternal grandmother in about 1925 when she was a 15 year old factory girl.   She had gotten dressed up to go to a portrait studio to have this picture made.  She was a first-generation American and was a native Russian speaker (although I never ever heard her do this).  Her father was a coal miner and they lived in a small town across the river from St. Louis.  She had moved to the city to work and lived with her older sister.

At the time this photo was taken she was making shoes, she later switched to making electrical fuses.   She worked in a factory until she had a heart attack, then she sat on the sofa reading movie magazines.  We always lived near her and I saw her frequently.  I love this photo because she is so unfamiliar from the woman I knew.

avis

This is my maternal great-grandmother who was born in 1863.   I found this picture in a book on the Tuscarora tribe and it looks to be from about 1930.   She had two families, the author of the book was  a descendant from the first family.   I don’t know what happened to that first husband, or the second, but my grandfather was from her third husband, the second family.   She lived with my grandfather and grandmother on the Seneca reservation until after my Mom was born.   Then she married again and moved back to the Tuscarora rez.

samuel

This is a picture of her grandfather, my great-great-great grandfather and I got this from the collection of a library in Niagara Falls.   He was born in 1815 and died in 1899.   I did not have any family stories of him, but I found him when I was doing some genealogical research.  He was apparently the first Native American deacon on the Tuscarora reservation and was active in the Temperance movement.    In contrast to life on the Tuscarora reservation,  in the 1892 special census of the Seneca reservation, it is described as being full of pagans.  Of course by the time my mom was born on the Seneca rez there weren’t too many (or any) at least openly pagans left.

I was able to share these pictures of her relatives with my mom when she was alive.   Because she was the youngest in a second family,  everyone was gone by the time she was growing up.   When she was dating my dad he took her around to meet all of his relatives,  and Mom thought it would be great to be in large family.   After she married she found out about all the family feuds my grandmother had with everyone else, so we seldom got to see the nearby relatives.

Household art

Today I thought I would share some of the art that hangs on my walls.

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I made the quilted piece with turtles after a visit to Hawaii.   My husband used to live there and he loved everything about life there.  He was a kama’aina.   The turtles are based on traditional shapes, but they are an original design.

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On the other side is a studio portrait of Miss P., an early American flag design painted by my brother,

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a Meramec Caverns (a Missouri tourist attraction) birdhouse also made by my brother, and Rocket Raccoon and other family pictures.

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In this corner is a quilted piece in a series that I made with sky people.  The designs are taken from petroglyphs.  The southwestern scene was painted by my first boyfriend, the art with National Health canes is by London artist Sorab and I previously wrote about the dragons.

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This corner has a clock made by my cousin, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a tiny Georgia O’Keefe print and another historical flag painted by my brother.  When he mailed it to me recently the postal clerk asked what was in the package (was it: liquid, hazardous or dangerous), so he started telling the story and the other clerks stopped working and listened too.  When he finished there was a huge line of irate customers behind him, but it is an interesting  and little known story.

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Traces

Of course this area was once home to and part of the range of various Native American tribes.   Cuerno Verde started his war against the settlers right where the power plant stands today.    There are still traces of the indigenous people.

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These don’t exactly honor the memory of the ancestors.

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This place is a 1930’s roadhouse (a place with booze and dancing).  The interior has a circular log ceiling like a Navajo hogan (a hogan is a house).   It used to be on the edge of town and sat vacant for years.   Now it’s a bar again.

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It has this carving in case you missed the idea that the place is about Indians.

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This is a Ute tree.   It’s a trail marker and was actually shaped by Ute Indians.  It’s over by the creek, not far from my house.

More men about town

I hadn’t really realized how many statues of men there were until I started taking photos.   So here’s more of this lot.

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This was a local farmer.  He liked to grow pumpkins to give away to school children.

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This guy and his hat are immortalized near the courthouse.

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This member of the Dumpty family is somewhat estranged from the rest of his clan and we don’t know why.   (He’s not saying!)

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It’s hard to tell gender, but I believe he is a snowman.

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The same is true of this stick man.

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Pan is only half man, but his goat bits are pretty well hidden by the snow.   He lives at a local university, to inspire students to hedonism (as if they needed the push ;-)).

Men about town

Strolling about town, one notices that there are a number of representations of men.

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This fellow with his back turned to the mountain, was the European person who gave the mountain it’s present name.   He used to be facing the mountain, but when the city moved him, they turned him around.

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The city founder was an abolitionist who became a general during the American Civil War.   His horse (also a male) (possibly Diablo) was not awarded any rank for his participation.

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He made pots of money by staking gold miners, and as he had no heirs, he left lots of his money to the city.

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Another mining millionaire who left his money to the city.

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This cowboy reading a newspaper reminds one that people are (or were) literate and news is worthwhile (or not).

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The bloodsucking count immortalizes the intentions of the real estate interests of our fair city.