Friday, June 15, 2012

Iroquois Museum, part 2 (paintings)

I wanted to share some of the paintings/artwork that my kids found particularly interesting. Above, J looks at a wall of work, each tile representing a part of the Thanksgiving Address, which we listened to/read/recited every morning during the reading of our epic.

This is one of many paintings of the Sky Woman's fall (her shadow can be seen coming through the hole from the sky world above), I chose to show this one because it was J's favorite. This next photo is an entire series of her fall:

J and Zoo Boy told their friends the story of how Atsytsyakayon fell through the hole under the Great Tree and into the water world below (her shadow can be seen coming through the hole in this painting), and how the birds caught her and carried her down to turtle's back, and how muskrat brought mud up from the bottom of the great ocean to give her a place to stand on turtle's back, which became the earth.

This painting is titled "Creation's Struggle", and shows the Sky Woman's daughter's twins struggling for control of the earth. In our story they were named Tharon:hyakawon and Shawiskara, here at the museum they were identified by other names, but the painting certainly depicts the story the way we know it. This was my personal favorite painting in the museum, and the boys loved it too. They easily identified which twin was which.

A sculpture of the evil sorcerer that we knew from our stories as Atotahrho. He's identified here by another name, but the boys easily recognized him due to his snakey hair.

"Hiawatha's Grief" is the name of this painting, and the boys were not only excited to find a painting of their beloved Aionwahta, but also to see that the strand of wampum he is holding looks just like the strands they made themselves at home after reading the story about his wanderings in grief. (I have to admit, I patted myself on the back for that one!)

A replica of the wampum belt that Aionwahta (Hiawatha) created while traveling from tribe to tribe to form the Great League of Peace (the Iroquois Confederacy). It depicts 4 longhouses (representing the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, and Cayuga) and a tree (the Great Tree of Peace, representing the Onondaga), all joined on a common strand. This was Zoo Boy's favorite moment, and when I told him we would be creating our own version of this wampum belt, he was VERY excited.

I'll write more about the connections we made between the exhibits at the museum and our crafts and projects in my next post.

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