Drum - "Pan-Indianism, Cultural Distinction" by lessLIEDrum - "Pan-Indianism, Cultural Distinction" by lessLIE
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Drum - "Pan-Indianism, Cultural Distinction"

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This circular Coast Salish drum is simultaneously a reflection of the cultural phenomenon of pan-Indianism and a visual deconstruction of it, acknowledging the political importance of such indigenous unity. With utmost respect for First Nations culture, which believe in medicine wheels, this design utilizes the Coast Salish iconography of salmon in the design to make it distinctly Coast Salish. As a component of my graduate studies, I was working around the idea of deconstructing pan-Indian notions of cultural identity to get to a distinctive Coast Salish identity. This partially meant a deconstruction of the human construct of race. For some First Nations, the four colors in this design would signify "the four races of the world," with the red symbolizing First Nations peoples, the white symbolizing people of European descent, the black the "black" people of the world, and the yellow symbolizing the Asian people of the world. Although the significance of these colors was meant for unity, being a bit of an iconoclastic spirit, I viewed such colorization of racial concepts as reinforcing racism and perpetuating political divisions. Despite these cultural criticisms, this design is ultimately a visual tribute to my recent discovery of my Yakima roots. --lessLIE

Artwork Information

Location Canada
Region Northwest Coast
Artist lessLIE
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2010
Dimensions 12"
Materials & Edition Acrylic on hide drum

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