Painting by Bryan Waytula
Size: 18.5" x 23"
Tribal Affiliation: Cherokee
"Thinking Outside the Box" 2017 Acrylic / Ink
is a painting of one of nature's oldest friends. The box turtle is a very silent and slow moving friend of the Cherokee whose shell is made in to a rattle for ceremonial dances and to call on the spirits. As a young child, I always enjoyed coming across a turtle slowly moving and observing everything around them. Their colors and patterns were especially interesting to me as a young artist as I would sit and watch them for a few minutes before we both went on our way.
Women hold an important role in the Stomp Dances of the Southeastern Indian cultures: That of the Shell Shaker. The Shell Shaker is the female counterpart of the Dance Singer. The first man leads the men and the first woman leads the other women. She wears leg rattles made from box tortoise shells on her lower legs. The woman enters the dance behind the lead singer and produces rythmic rattling sounds made by shuffling her feet. Legend has it that because of the natural designs on the tortoise shell that look like women dancing - Turtle says, "Let Women Dance."
Mixed Media by Bryan Waytula
Graphic Arts by Bryan Waytula
Painting by Jane Semple Umsted
Painting by Brent Greenwood
Painting by Benjamin Harjo, Jr.
Painting by Tom Farris