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Dry summer shrinks N.S. lake, revealing 'works of art' in ancient Mi'kmaw artifacts – CBC.ca

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The dry summer shrank a lake in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, revealing ancient Mi’kmaw artifacts and starting a conversation about how to best preserve such finds.

Aaron Taylor, an archeologist, has seen both recent finds — a point likely prepared for a spear and an arrowhead. 

“They’re works of art,” he told CBC News in a phone interview. “The person making this, their family ate or didn’t eat, depending on how well their tools are [made].” 

Taylor, who teaches at Saint Mary’s University and Acadia University, has excavated sites such as the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage site, Beechville Black Refugee site and the Gaspereau Lake pre-contact site.

Both recent finds were likely made and used about 1,500 years ago, he said, as the material came from a quarry Mi’kmaw people used around that time. The larger point was left half undone. 

“Which means that the person using it was trying to make it into a point, but for some reason gave up on it, Taylor said. “It’s a beautiful piece, well-worked, but they didn’t continue on to create what was going to be an arrowhead or a point.”

Location shows Mi’kmaw trade routes

Taylor said it would likely have taken a skilled toolmaker half a day to turn the raw materials into a completed point. He speculates they may have detected a flaw in the stone that would have led it to break, so they abandoned it. 

The point was found about 100 kilometres from the quarry, showing the long-distance trade routes Mi’kmaw people used, he said. 

This Mi’kmaw arrowhead was created and used about 1,500 years ago. (Submitted by Nicholas Clark)

“The Mi’kmaq used rivers like we use highways,” he said. “All the rivers are places with high potential to find First Nations materials: points, arrowheads, scrappers, pottery.”

He said the people who made the artifacts likely lived in villages of 30-50 people and would have been well connected to other similarly sized Mi’kmaw villages and traded across Mi’kma’ki and into today’s Ohio Valley. 

Taylor is working to create a better way to study the land and predict where Mi’kmaw people would have lived in different periods of their 13,000 years — and counting — in this land. That will make it easier to find artifacts and learn more about their lives, he said.

Currently, most finds are like these two recent ones where people stumble over them while hunting or fishing. 

“It’s great to have it, but most of the information comes from what it was associated with. Where it was found, where in the stratum it was found,” he said.

A window into the deep past

Many such finds are eventually preserved at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.

No one from the museum was available for an interview about these finds, but Katie Cottreau-Robins, curator of archeology at the museum, said the artifacts are “significant and speak to Mi’kmaw pre-history in the province.” 

She said the changing climate has been exposing artifacts that long lay covered. More people contact the museum these days to share their finds, she said in an email. 

She said if someone finds such an artifact, they should leave it in place and contact the museum. 

“A new find may represent a new site. New sites contribute very important information to our collective understanding of the Mi’kmaq before and after the colonial presence,” she wrote. 

“Some individuals have donated private collections of artifacts to the museum. The artifacts are visited and studied by the Mi’kmaq, students, community members, and the archeology professional community. They are exhibited and loaned to organizations and used in teaching and training.”

Roger Lewis, curator of ethnology at the museum, said publishing the location of such finds can lead to treasure hunting and “looting,” so CBC is not publishing the name of the lake where they were discovered. 

Two modern fishers find ancient tools

Leah Stultz found the point while on a fishing trip in the Annapolis Valley. 

“We were walking along where normally it would be filled with water, the lake bed, and I found it,” she said. “I noticed the colour first. It was so vibrant and out of place.”

She picked it up and put it in her pocket as a curiosity. She later learned of its significance. 

Nicholas Clark found the arrowhead in the same area as he walked over the cracked earth that would usually be flooded. 

“I was looking where I was walking so I wouldn’t break an ankle,” he said. “I noticed what looked like an arrowhead sitting in the mud.”

He collected the find and has stored it in his home for now.

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First virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture 'absolutely fabulous' – OrilliaMatters

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NEWS RELEASE
ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY (HISTORY COMMITTEE)
********************
“Absolutely Fabulous.” “A wonderful presentation, truly exceptional experience of art and land.” “A true labour of love.”

These were some of the online comments about Jim and Sue Waddington and their presentation, “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.”

The Waddingtons appeared live via Zoom at the first ever virtual Carmichael Art History lecture hosted by the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) on Oct. 21. 

When the OMAH History Committee, who coordinates this annual OMAH fundraiser, confirmed with the Waddingtons that the lecture planned for May would have to be cancelled, Jim and Sue rose to the occasion.

“Would you be interested in holding the lecture virtually?”

They were keen to help OMAH with their fundraising efforts by sharing their story this way.

Forced to step outside their comfort zone, OMAH and the History Committee partnered with the Waddingtons to make this virtual event a huge success.

Through their rich narration Jim and Sue shared with viewers a snapshot of their 43-year quest to find the over 800 actual sites where the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson painted, exhibiting their stunning photographs of the locations that mirrored each particular sketch or painting.

Special for the Orillia audience, they included many details about the Orillia-born Franklin Carmichael. 

The audience was also treated to a “reveal” of the location where Carmichael painted Old Barns, Miner’s Bay, the painting OMAH hopes to purchase, which is in the la Cloche region of Ontario, not in the Minden area as was first thought.

It was a wonderful evening. Thanks go to the Waddingtons and to the community for supporting this event.

OMAH will be sending out a general survey regarding future virtual programming. In addition, a survey will be sent specifically to attendees at the virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture. We want to hear about what is in important to you so we can develop rich online experiences that meets your needs and interests.

OMAH is committed to find ways to stay connected to the community both at the museum and virtually. Stay tuned for more virtual programming in the future.

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Qaumajuq_new name of Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit art centre, an act of decolonization – Turtle Island News

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By Adam Laskaris

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

WINNIPEG, MAN-The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre has a new name.

Qaumajuq Street View Day Rendering. Photo Michael Maltzan Architecture

In a ceremony on Oct. 28, the gallery, known as WAG, announced the centre would be renamed Qaumajuq  1/8HOW-ma-yourq 3/8, an Inuktitut word meaning “It is bright, it is lit”.

Qaumajuq is set to open in February 2021 after construction began in March 2018 on a new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture. It’s home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.

The WAG building itself was given a name in Anishinaabemowin,Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah  1/8BEEN- deh-gen Bi-WAH-say-yah 3/8, meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here” or “the dawn of light is coming.”

The naming ceremony was hosted by Dr. Stephen Borys, director and CEO of WAG. The ceremony occurred with a small gathering of Borys and Julia Lafreniere, WAG manager of Indigenous Initiatives. A Qulliq lighting ceremony was conducted by Elder Martha Peet, with virtual appearances from Theresie Tungilik and Elder Dr. Mary Courchene. The latter two formally announced the new names in Inuktitut and Anishinaabemowin respectively.

Tungilik, an Inuk artist from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, said “Qaumajuq will be a place where all walks of life will experience, through the creation of Inuit art, our survival, hardships and resilience.”

Courchene, who comes from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, said the Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah name was created to “include all the Indigenous populations of Manitoba, the First Nations, the Metis, and the Inuit populations.”

“The language keepers and Elders came together in a powerful moment of cross-cultural reflection and relationship-building,”

Borys said. “This initiative is an act of decolonization, supporting reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge transmission for generations to come in an effort to ensure WAG-Qaumajuq will be a home where Indigenous communities feel welcome. Where everyone feels welcome.”

In addition to the new name of Qaumajuq, which will serve as the primary name for the space, various areas within the WAG will also have new names in Inuvialuktun (Inuit), Nehiyawewin (Cree), Dakota, and Michif (Metis) that were given by Indigenous language keepers.

“Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led initiatives will be at the heart of this new space and giving the spaces Indigenous names is just the start,” reads the WAG’s website where pronunciations and audio clips for the new names are available.

“We are thrilled to share the names of the spaces in the seven Indigenous languages of Manitoba and Inuit Nunangat,” said Dr.

Heather Igloliorte and Dr. Julie Nagam, co-chairs of the Indigenous Advisory Circle for Winnipeg Art Gallery, in a joint statement.

“The Circle demonstrates the breadth of knowledge that represents the relationship to the collection and the buildings and it has been an incredible experience for all Circle members. We are so honoured to gift the institution with these new names that point to a new path forward for galleries and museums in this country,” the statement continued.

The WAG also states that the “historic naming responds to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 13 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 14i, both of which reference the importance of Indigenous languages.”

Article 13 reads:

Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

TRC Call to Action 14i states: Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.

A press release issued by WAG states that Qaumajuq “will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming.” One of these features includes the three-storey tall column called the `visible vault’ that is filled with thousands of Inuit carvings and immediately viewable upon entry into Qaumajuq.

“This is a place that amplifies and uplifts Inuit stories, connecting Canada’s North and South. This is a site for reconciliation… We can’t wait to unveil this new cultural landmark in the heart of the country with these new names honouring Indigenous voices and languages,” Borys said.

Adam Laskaris is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of Windspeaker. com. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. 

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Pay Phones Turned Into Public Art, in “Titan” – The New Yorker

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Photograph by Chris Maggio for The New Yorker

New York City’s pay phones are obsolete, and, by early next year, they will also be history—removed to make way for Wi-Fi kiosks. Through Jan. 3, a dozen artists (including Glenn Ligon, Patti Smith, and Jimmie Durham, whose contribution is pictured above) are making creative use of phone booths along Sixth Avenue, from Fifty-first to Fifty-sixth Streets. The project, called “Titan,” was co-curated by Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker, in collaboration with the Kurimanzutto gallery.

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