Cosmological Documents

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  • Cosmological Documents
    Artist in Residence - National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
  • This work explores five of thirteen episodic junctures of the Oneida Creation Myth. The work seeks to make manifest the spatial and narrative power ofthe Oneida cosmology. It is not a literal illustration of a story, but rather an interpretive translation that fuses the cultural conveyance in American Indian oral tradition with the graphic explanation ofthe construction document.
  • Episode 01_In the beginning, the Earth was entirely covered by agreat blanket of water. There was no sun, moon, or stars, and so there was nolight. All was darkness. At that time, the only living creatures of the worldwere water animals, such as the beaver, muskrat duck, and loon.
  • Episode 02_Far above the Earth was a Sky-World where the great rulerlived. In the middle of this Sky-World was a huge tree.
  • Episode 06_Finally, a muskrat tried to dive deep for some earth. Itwas thought that he had failed also, but when his body floated to the surface,they saw that he had clutched in his paw a tiny clump of earth.
  • Episode 08_The woman began walking around in circles on theturtle’s back. This made the earth grow larger and larger. The woman from theSky-World then planted roots upon the turtle's back.
  • Episode 11_The twins buried their mother. From her body all livingthings that grew in the soil received the nourishment they needed. The plants,such as the corn, beans, and squash were all fed from what was then called“Mother Earth.”