Deono:gwe-ga:ha Sculpture

Bronze edition: 10 | Height: 24″

Dances in the Wind

“These people are the most beautiful and have them most civil customs that we have found on this voyage. They are taller than we are … the face is clear-cut … the eyes are black and alert … and their manner is very sweet and gentle, very much like the manner of the ancients. The women are of the same form and beauty, very graceful of fine countenances and pleasing appearance … comely to behold, very graceful and well-formed: of a sweet and pleasant countenance”.

Verrazano (voyages of 1524 – 1528)

It was often the case among Eastern woodland people to experience a period of want, especially during late winter when game proved scarce or elusive and caches of dried food had been exhausted. Unlike early Europeans however, incidents of Indians actually starving were rare. These were seen by native people to be a valuable experience: “Owaneeyo (The Great Provider) sometimes suffers us to be in want, in order to teach us our dependence upon him, and let us know that we are to love and serve him and likewise to know the worth of the favors that we receive and to make us more thankful. Be assured that you will be supplied with food, but you must continue diligent and exert yourself like a man and the Great Spirit will direct your way.”

Mingo (Iroquois), elder c. 1759

“Their nature has something, I know not what, of the goodness of the Terrestrial Paradise before sin had entered it.”

“It seems as if innocence, banished from the majority of the Empires and Kingdoms of the World, had withdrawn into these great forests where these people dwell. Their nature has something, I know not what, of the goodness of the Terrestrial Paradise before sin had entered it. Their practices manifest none of the luxury, the ambition, the avarice, or the pleasures that corrupt our cities. Nature teaches them, she has made them more learned than any Aristotle with his ponderous volumes.”

Jerome Lalemont , among the Hurons, 1647

“Let us not think that these men are so simple as some have supposed them. For they are of body lusty, strong and very nimble…I suppose the world hath no better marksmen with their bows and arrow than they be. They shoot also with marvelous strength. They will kill birds flying, fish swimming and beasts running.”

English explorer/settler, c.1619