Medicine Man

Mixed Media by Bryan Waytula

$3,800 Sold

Size: 48" x 36"

Category: Mixed Media

Tribal Affiliation: Cherokee

Artwork Description:

"The Medicine Man"  2019 Mixed Media on Canvas (Old Medicine Labels printed on Ledger paper adhered to canvas with acrylic & enamel painted) This painting depicts the portrait of Mr. Toby Hughes, a Cherokee Nation citizen, a Master Craftsman, a Medicine Man, and a keeper of our traditions. A man who still remembers and practices the old ways of the Cherokee, Toby acts as a keeper of our traditions who can write, read, and speak our native language. The ledger paper from 1919 has old medicine labels printed on them of what my Grandmother would call "Snake Oil". Many of these remedies were made up of nothing more than alcohol, food coloring and some sugar. The Earth provides all that we need to heal with "The Medicine Man" pays tribute to the progression of using our healing plants into the medicine we use today. I'm very happy of what the Doctors do for our Cherokee people at the Indian Hospital in Tahlequah, OK. An artist in his own right, Mr. Hughes creates stunning works from his wood carvings, an art form he started in high school. I had the pleasure to meet and visit with Toby and his wife Valorie at their home in Cherokee Nation, and not just amazed with his vast knowledge of our traditions, but his work as an artist and musician, hunting, cooking, growing their own food, and preparing natural medicine of the old ways. This is one of my favorite portraits and largest I’ve created that captures the contemplation of one of our most respected elders wearing an Eagle feather on his hat. The feather from an Eagle is a very important and a symbol of respect for our elders and long ago, only given to brave warriors or medicine men. Even the youth of our tribe today recognizes and respects those elders who are given and wear an Eagle feather. Because of the knowledge and wisdom that our elders carry on to teach our youth and to pass on our culture is why I titled this piece the “The Medicine Man.”


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