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Zheton Nish

Blog: #3 of 4 by Candi Wesaw

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October 12th, 2012 - 04:15 PM

Hello all, welcome to my new website. I am going to tell you a little about my artwork here, and I hope that you will appreciate them all the more after reading about them. As I said earlier, I’ve been working on these illustrations for over ten years now. I was commissioned by Midwest Institute for Native American Studies to illustrate curriculum being developed for Montessori schools, about the Potawatomi which resulted in this collection.

The curriculum includes little books, each one covers a different subject matter regarding the Neshnabek (Potawatomi). M.I.N.A.S. is licensed to use these illustrations for the curriculum, and I retain all other rights. I have re-titled the drawings in my language, partly as a way for me to learn, partly as a way to remind people that we have our own language, and I have also grouped them a little differently than they may appear in her books. Apologies to any language teachers if I have used our language wrong! I am one generation away from being raised learning our own language before learning english. Drop me a line and give me the correct way to say it and I will change it.

You can visit www.MINASIllinois.org for more information about the curriculum.

I have decided to tell you about the panels I put together for showing. Please excuse the photography of these panels! They are only meant to show you how I’ve grouped them! You can see them better in the galleries, and I hope you will visit them all and let me know what you think of them.

Let’s begin with;

Zheton Nish (Make it- two)
Nene Ngot - Man one
Wenije o kwe – Who is that woman
Winses - Hair
Kwe - Woman
Zheton Ngom – Make it today
Nene Nish – Man two

This collection of six drawings comes from the book about Potawatomi clothing. This is a book I worked on at the beginning of this collection. I remember putting out an e-mail asking some of my Potawatomi friends and relatives if they would be interested in modeling for me, and I have a couple friends in these drawings. They may not resemble them exactly anymore, but they were a definite help in creating these drawings. Many times I used myself as a model and you may see me in a couple of them too, it was a few years ago so keep that in mind! Many of the books have a ‘Potawatomi Today’ page in them as this one does. It serves to remind people that we are still here, and not just in the distant past as so much of the current fourth grade materials teach about my people. The only thing I really want to convey about these right now is the fact that all of these drawings depict Potawatomi clothing and styles, many can still be seen today, not just the one drawing. I may go into more detail later about these though.

I hope you enjoy your visit here and that you may have learned a little something about the Neshnabek (Potawatomi).

Zheton Nish

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