Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blog Master's Public Address IX

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~ To all readers happy holidays and prosperous 2012 ~

 
















From left to right: Ugo Matulić a.k.a. Spirit Walker with his brother Jakša by the Indian totem after the screening of one of the "Winnetou" films, based on German author Karl May novels; Omiš, Croatia - July 1966; Sourcewww.almissa.com
/Click on image to Enlarge/



Hi to all,

I appreciate all of you visiting the NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG. It is proving to be an exciting success as I have always anticipated it would be. The subject is dynamic and evolving to say the least. I wish to thank all the contributors for encouraging me to continue with this monumental project which is dedicated entirely to protecting the integrity of Norval Morrisseau's art and the preservation of his artistic legacy.

I am using this opportunity to express a special thank you to my very good friend Mr. Michael Moniz of Brampton, Ontario for his relentless and unwavering dedication and assistance.

Allow me again to introduce myself to those who don't know me.

I was born in Split, Croatia. As a child I saw, and continue to see, the Indians of North America as members of an outstanding race. My favourite childhood memory was the time when 'Winnetou' movies were filmed in Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia). As a memento from that time were countless memories and a photograph with my brother and I in front of Indian totem pole in my hometown of Omiš, Croatia after the filming of one of the 'Winnetou' movies based on novels by the best-selling German author of all time - Karl May.

When I emigrated to Canada my aim was to become a true Canadian and contribute to the advancement of this outstanding country. I also wanted to advance the cause of the First Nations Citizens. The best way I could do this appeared through advancing the cause of native art. Researching the background of Norval Morrisseau and other native artists and their lives has shown the adversity these artists had to overcome to become recognized. Some wonderful people emerged through this research, as did the hardships the art goddess imposed on many of these talented artists.

The subject of my passion is Norval Morrisseau's art. He was one of the very few artists who started a completely new art movement: the Woodland/Anishnaabe School of Art, and has been dubbed the Father of Canadian Aboriginal Art. My extensive knowledge and research along with my personal collection which I have amassed over the years are what I draw my knowledge base from. It seems like almost every day I find a new and fantastical correlation within this man's work. It is never ending. The scope and depth of Morrisseau's visions throughout his lifetime have left an impact on my soul that I cannot describe in words. "Perhaps I should paint as Morrisseau did to express feelings otherwise would not be explicable within my vocabulary?" His Art Work is my passion...

... The artistic genius of Norval Morrisseau was best described by Jack Pollock (1930-1992) who wrote: "...Norval, with his incredible ability with the formal problems of art (colour-design-space) and his commitment to the world of his people, the great Ojibway, give one the sense of power that only genius provides... It is sufficient to say that in the history of Canadian Painting, few have, and will remain giants. Norval shall."

Thank you for your continuing support.


INVITATION TO ALL READERS:

There are many of you who possess important valuable information such as paintings, photographs and other printed/written materials which will greatly assist our common goal. I urge you to provide this information to me for public record. Norval Morrisseau has become one of Canada's greatest all time artists and is recognized for his importance Worldwide.

Your assistance is needed now! Your actions will greatly benefit your art as an investment and safeguard Norval Morrisseau's Legacy.


Hvala/Miigwetch,

Ugo Matulić a.k.a. Spirit Walker
/spiritwalker2008@gmail.com/

> For the purposes of this blog I would like to be referred to as Spirit Walker. Miigwetch!





~ Source (image):
   An Unofficial Website of Omiš, Croatia at www.almissa.com
  /Ugo Matulić - Webmaster/

~ Click
HERE to view the above image in its original context



>>> Reference posts:
- Blog Master's Public Address I,
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Blog Master's Public Address II,
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Blog Master's Public Address III,
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Blog Master's Public Address IV,
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Blog Master's Public Address V,
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Blog Master's Public Address VI,
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Blog Master's Public Address VII,
- Blog Master's Public Address VIII
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Will the real SpiritWalker please stand up?,
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The real Spirit Walker is standing up!,
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>>> The Story behind photograph published in the post "The real Spirit Walker is standing up!" & - The Best-Selling German Author of All Time /Ref. Karl May/.
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Norval Morrisseau a.k.a. Copper Thunderbird

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-Shaman-Visionary-Storyteller-Artist
- Anishinaabe/Canadian Painter-


© 2008 by Vanessa Liston


In an address presented in 1980 at the University of Western Ontario, Goyce Kakegamic, a prominent Anishnaabe (Woodland) artist stated:

"The aim...was not merely to establish a realistic record. The artist quickly realized that he could not draw a tree or animal as perfectly as it was made by the Creator so, in good sense, he did not try to do so. Instead, he sought out the spirit, or essence, of the tree, and represented this in his painting. This is the semi-magical characteristic so common to Native Art. The painting depicts the soul of the object. The art of representing visions or mental impressions is not new.

Today, the artist must turn to the elders of the community for age-old stories and legends, and infuse them with artistic meaning. Only those who have shared in native life gain the insights necessary to recreate that life in an art form. The basic rule is to arouse an emotional response in the audience. If the artist does not succeed in this, it may be either his own failure or that of the audience itself.

Woodland Native Art is not a primitive art form. It involves the latest in media and techniques. Its practitioners are not untrained or illiterate. The messages contained in the works are neither crude nor unsophisticated. Woodland Art is not an anachronistic curiosity cherished for its furtive glimpses into a bygone age. It is rather a representation of current philosophy and a culture that is alive and well today.

...Please do not think of us as 'Indian' artists, but rather, as artists who happen to be Indian".

Goyce Kakegamic - one of the founders of the Tripe K Cooperative





Source (Text): "Art in the Woodland Tradition" - Compiled and Edited by William F. Colborne /Used with permission/


Note: Founded by Henry, Joshim and Goyce Kakegamic the Triple K Cooperative was a silkscreening company that reproduced their own work, as well as that of other artists like Paddy Peters, Barry Peters, Saul Williams, and their brother-in-law Norval Morrisseau.
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Norval Morrisseau: 'Best Canadian painter ever'

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* This post was originally published on January 23rd, 2008

/Opinions and thoughts of admirers of Norval Morrisseau art, art collectors, friends.../


















/Click on image to Enlarge/


NORVAL MORRISSEAU: BEST CANADIAN PAINTER EVER

I'm guessing that when the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics finally roll around in two years there's going to be lots of references to Aboriginal culture. Lots of dancing, drumming, native dress, references to aboriginal creation myths during the opening ceremonies; some elders will be brought in to bless the proceedings, that kind of thing. You can already see them using an Inuksuk (those Inuit 'rock piles') as one of their official icons. And as it should be. I have no problem with it, in fact I'm all for it. Like Australians we post-centennial, post-modern Canadians like to reach back to the deep time or the dream time when it comes time to show our face to the world. How real we are. The indigenous art. What inspired up and out from the land before the blight of colonialism. See, "we" are as ancient as everybody else. As old as Europe. I suppose its a kind of progress really, but a large dose of irony might still be necessary amidst all our mutual, terribly official self-congratulation.

Residential schools aside - check out Bill Reid on the twenty dollar bill. Bill Reid at the Vancouver airport. And my personal favourite, Bill Reid at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Many a Canadian white boy and girl has ventured forth into The Bush, however clumsily, trying to catch a whiff of the spirits. Going deep, getting back, oh yeah - getting real. Going back to the earth, because as the late, great Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen once wrote: "No one invited us here."

But I wonder if any "Canadian" (and yes, in the context of this post I do feel the need to put that word in quotation marks) ever saw this 'real spirit' behind the surface of what we now call Canada better and more vibrantly than the recently, dearly departed Norval Morrisseau. His paintings were literally churning from the inside out. Skeletal and skeletons. Often called "x-ray". People within animals and animals within people and animals within animals within people covered in flowers riding on a fish, and all of it singing in the most glorious colour. And so out there and dangerous, freaky, hallucinogenic, tripping the bounds of sanity, and erotic. And inspired by sacred, ancient aboriginal myth.

"Why am I alive?"he said in a 1991 interview with The Toronto Star. "To heal you guys who are more screwed up than I am. How can I heal you? With color. These are the colors you dreamt about one night."

I've adored his work for years, before I ever knew his name or even knew who the heck he was. I bought my first Norval Morrisseau print a few years back at some poster sale in Hamilton and I remember riding the GO bus back into Toronto with the thing spread out on my lap for the whole trip, taking it in grinning ear to ear, just dazzled. And that was just a print. A poster. I tacked it to my kitchen wall and it made me happy every time I looked at it.

If anyone was the God Father of the Renaissance of Aboriginal Art and Culture that has ultimately made Canada a much humbler, more honest, better and yes more beautiful place, it had to be him. And at its heart the work was a profound movement for justice. That which cannot be denied.

Marc Chagall famously compared him to Picasso.

Keep your Group of Seven's, sure.

But Norval Morrisseau was the Best Canadian Painter Ever.

Reid Neufeld


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Source: Global Health Nexus Blog /Global Health, Politics and Culture/


* Detailed information about the painting in this post unknown: "Flower of Life", © c. 1980s or 1990s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Lister Sinclair about Norval Morrisseau

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~ Reference for Morrisseau's collectors and investigators


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"Nature's Balance", acrylic on kraft paper, 73"x48", © 1975 Norval Morrisseau /Click on image to Enlarge/~ PROVENANCE: Purchased directly from the artist by Lister Sinclair's wife Faith-
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"Morrisseau, the artist, is a teller of tales. But tales such as these are only as powerful as the power of the person who tells them. Behind the visual imagery lies the power of his personal recital of a legend. Behind the legend lies the personal vision that explains everything. It may be difficult to distinguish Ojibway mythic elements from personal ones, or to separate Indian versions of Catholic iconography from Morrisseau's own set of emblems. He is at his most Indian when he offers an explanation of what he is doing. The purpose of doing it may have been to share with the world a heritage of the Great Ojibway that is proud and full of worth. The reason for doing it is very Indian. Where other artists might claim logic, tradition or authority as justification, Morrisseau always justifies himself by the most Indian of all explanations: the imperative of a personal, unique and private vision, the only real consistency which lies at the back of all his work. Everything, ultimately, is validated by Morrisseau's unanswerable claim to be responding to the demands of that personal, unique and private vision."

Lister Sinclair (1921-2006) - was a broadcaster, writer, actor, critic, producer, director, mathematician, birder, music buff and sports nut! In a career lasting more than 60 years, his erudition, wit, grace and passionate delight in learning reminded us all what public broadcasting at its best can be.





Source (text): THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU /Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./


>>> Reference post:
- Blog Master's Pick of the Day (Part II).

*The genuine acrylic painting on kraft paper in this post: "Nature's Balance", 73"x48", © 1975 Norval Morrisseau; This painting is from the Lister Sinclair's Estate and was first publicly exhibited on page 114 of THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU [Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau; Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979]

'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear' by Jana Mashonee

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~ Sung in Oneida
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By JanaMashonee
-- /www.janamashonee.com /


"We natives believe in the following saying: "Our God is Native. The Great Deity of the Five Planes is so. We are neither for nor against, We speak not of Christ nor of God. We say, 'Let them be.' We follow the Spirit on its Inward Journey of Soul through attitudes and attentions. Remember we are all in a big School and the Inner Master teaches us Experience over many Lifetimes."

Norval Morrisseau

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>>> James A. Simon's 'MISHMOUNTAINS ART EXHIBITION' Ends TOMORROW

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December 7th - 31st, 2011

US - CANADA Duty Free Shop Showroom 
Surrey, British Columbia CANADA




























"Mishmountain Collage", © James A. Simon MISHIBINIJIMA
~ Illustration by Spirit Walker
/Click on image to Enlarge/


MISHIBINIJIMA'S BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

James A. Simon MISHIBINIJIMA, one of Canada's foremost artist, has created a unique body of work over the past four decades and established a loyal following in North America and overseas. He was born February 12, 1954 in Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island and grew up immersed in the legends of the Ojibwe people. As a youth he was known as James Alexander Simon, but now he is widely recognized as MISHIBINIJIMA, practitioner of many diverse styles and media. Over the years he has been awarded many First Place and Best of Show prize at international art exhibitions. Currently, he serves as a judge and mentor for many North American juried art shows. He also develops curriculum materials for First Nations schools and continues to amaze art collectors with the detail and intricacy of his canvases.


From the 1970s to the present, Mishibinijima has explored many of the sacred places around Manitoulin Island and originated the sought after MISHMOUNTAIN series among others.

His uplifting philosophy has struck a chord with people who are seeking solace in the midst of tragedy and meaning in a world that us often confusing and frightening. The themes depicted in his paintings have universal appeal and speak to all who yearn for spiritual sustenance. In his works he underscores the wisdom of the Grandfather teachings as a way to foster respect and peace. He also emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life and calls upon all nations to preserve our natural surroundings for the benefit of our children - always, he urges us not to take the Earth for granted.

Mishibinijima takes his role as an artist in society by courageously examining the difficult questions facing humanity. For example: he has meditated on the horrendous atrocities of the 9-11 attacks and the Holocaust on order to touch and articulate the ancient truths that have the power to save us all. For those who have yet to discover the metaphysical depths of Anishnabe culture. Mishibinijima offers timeless teachings and universal values to guide the people of the New Millennium into a positive future.





Source: M I S H I B I N I J I M A - International Contemporary Artist


>>> Reference posts:

One Native Life

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* This post was originally published on February 24th, 2009
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Vanishing points


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By Richard Wagamese,
'Indian Country Today' correspondent, recepient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for 2012


My people say there are seven hills to life. Each represents a stage, a period, a time frame where you gather experience and add it to the pack you carry across the years, across the breadth of the journey. Each hill is a vantage point for looking back. … but not everyone takes time for reflection.

There is a hill for youth and adolescence, a hill for adulthood and parenting. Then there are the hills of middle life, the teaching time, and on into the elder years, the giving back time. The final hill is the elevation of wisdom where you can look back and see the vast panorama of your living and come to know who you are by virtue of who you’ve been.

From each hill the view is different. From each hill the feeling changes. Each climb has its virtues, its struggles and triumphs; and the Ojibway say that it is only in the looking back that you discern the trail, identify the climb and rest contented in the journey.

I heard this first from Norval Morrisseau, the great interpreter of the Sacred Scrolls, the teaching scrolls of my people. At that time I was 32 and keen on learning all I could about the mysteries surrounding the aboriginal belief system. That part of my journey was breathtaking and the view was spectacular from the hill of my young adulthood.

I went to a lot of ceremonies then. It was the late ’80s, and there seemed to be a tide of people coming back to the teachings, to the elders and the ceremonies for rejuvenation, reconnection and reclamation. It was exhilarating. From the Sun Dance to the sweat lodge, to naming ceremonies, pipe ceremonies and the opening of Sacred Bundles, I found parts of myself I had never known.

I recall sitting on a ledge of rock in the mountains of Montana with a young Blackfoot elder in the summer of 1987. We were part of a traditional gathering called Return to the Buffalo. There’s a sacred meadow there where the people of many nations gathered in pre-settlement times to share teachings and Earth knowledge. Like then, we came from diverse cultures and the time we shared there was built entirely on the true tribal way of life.

The view from that ledge was amazing. There were mountains all around us that formed a perfect bowl, a circle that seemed to contain everything. Across the gap of valley was a turquoise lake, all green and blue at once. The trees were 100 shades of green, the mountain rock variegated and the sky a visceral blue that pulled your eye upward and away and back again. The view itself was ceremony.

I was crying. The experience of living the tribal way was so enormous that I had nothing in my life to compare it to. It was what I had been searching out for years. It was the most redemptive experience of my life.

We’d been separated into clans and given responsibility for certain parts of daily life. I was Beaver Clan and we were responsible for firewood and watching over the children. There were traditional teachings around these responsibilities and we’d gather under a teaching arbor to hear them. I came to understand community then, came to know what unity looked like, how harmony could feel.

Every night we sat in a round lodge and heard the elders share. We learned sacred songs on hand drums, were given stories to carry, asked questions and were taught according to traditional protocol. In every way, it was like living 1,000 years ago when the tribal and traditional lives of our people was unsullied by incursion. It was moving and fulfilling.

But it was time to go. We’d head out, scattered across the Four Directions to wherever our homes were and the likelihood of gathering again in this way was slim. For me it was heart breaking. I had just spent time living as close to the cultural bone of my people as possible, gleaned the truth of it, claimed it, and for the first time in my life come to know myself as a Native person, a Native man.

But it was time to go.


We sat on that ledge for a long time and I told that young teacher about my journey, how much this time had meant to me and how it hurt to see it end. He listened intently and when I finished he looked across that sweep of valley for a long time. Then he told me about the seven hills again.

Nothing is ever truly lost, he told me. Everything is born, carried and exists on energy, invisible and eternal. The highest form that energy takes is feeling because it is born in our hearts and spirits. The heart has no questions he said, and the head has no answers. It’s our heads that allow us to believe in finalities, endings, losses and vanishings, but nothing is ever truly lost.

The hills of life are resting spots. You only come to know that when you take the time for retrospection, for looking back. When you do, he said, you discover that everything you carry stays the same when you bear it in your heart, when it lives in you as feeling. We are in a state of constant relationship with everything, he said; and relationships never end, they merely change.

Take this place with you. Breathe it into you. Carry the feeling of it. Someday you’ll unwrap it again and see it like it was, perfectly, truly. On that day, he said, you’ll see that there are no vanishing points, that you can see forever from those hills and you will never be lonely.

I’ve forgotten that from time to time we all allow the sublime things in life to shrink. But when I remember, especially when times are tough or unclear, I realize again that the climb’s been worth it and the view is spectacular.


Source:
'Indian Country Today' - Indian Country Today is an award-winning multimedia publisher of news, information, and imagery relevant to the Indigenous people of the Americas. Our mission is to better the lives of Indigenous peoples by delivering accurate, relevant, and culturally sensitive content.

Reference:
- Richard Wagamese's Website @ www.richardwagamese.com


Blog Master's Note: The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation has named newspaper columnist and author Richard Wagamese as one of the 15 outstanding Canadians who will receive a 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Wagamese has worked as a columnist, reporter and features writer for newspapers across Canada and has published a number of poetry books and novels as well as a memoir.

In 1991, he became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing for a piece that appeared in the Calgary Herald.

Wagamese, along with the 14 other recipients, will be presented with the award in February 2012.

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>>> Kateri Tekakwitha, ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ on brink of sainthood

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"Lily of the Mohawk", 72"x35", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
/Click on image to enlarge/

~ Note the inscription on the front of the canvas (bottom right) which includes the title, date (year) and recognizable signature of the artist

>>> The above presented image of a Genuine Norval Morrisseau painting is currently part of the Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI); Formerly in the collection of R.E. Mansfield (1937-2007), donated to NMAI in 2003; Catalog number: 26/4095.


Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656 - 1680)
"Lily of the Mohawks"-

Kateri Tekakwitha also known as Catherine Tekakwitha/Takwita, was born in 1656 in Gandahouhague, on the south bank of the Mohawk River, in a village called Ossernenon. The Mohawks were known as the fiercest of the "Five Nations" of the Iroquois. War was waged between the Mohawks and Algonquins. Kateri's mother, a christian Algonquin, was taken captive by a Mohawk warrior and soon they were married. They had a happy life together and eventually had a girl. They named her Tekakwitha, which means "she who moves forward". When she was four years old, a smallpox epidemic claimed the lives of her parents and baby brother. Their names are unknown. Kateri survived the disease but her eyesight was impaired. Her face was scarred and the disease left her weak the rest of her life. After five years of the sickness, the survivors of the village moved to the north bank of the river to begin a new life. Tekakwitha and her relatives moved into the Turtle Clan village called Gandaouague.

She was then raised by aunts and an uncle, the Chief of the Turtle Clan.

In 1667 the Jesuit missionaries Fremin, Bruyas, and Pierron spent three days in the lodge of Tekakwutga's uncle. They had accompanied the Mohawk delegation who had been to Quebec to conclude peace with the French. From the Blackrobes she received her first knowledge of Christianity.

In 1670 the Blackrobes established St. Peter's Mission in Caughnawaga now Fonda, NY.

In 1674, Fr. James de Lamberville arrived to take charge of the mission which included the Turtle Clan.

Tekakwitha met Father de Lamberville when he visited her home. She told him about her desire to become baptized. Despite opposition to Christianity from her tribe and particularly her uncle, she met with the Blackrobe in secret. She began to take religious instructions. On Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676, at the age of 20, she was baptized and given the name Kateri, Indian for Katherine. Her family wanted her to abandon her religion. She became the subject of increased contempt from the people of her village for her conversion, as well as her refusal to work on Sundays or to marry. She practice her religion unflinchingly in the face of almost unbearable opposition. Finally her uncle's lodge ceased to be a place of protection to her.

With the help of Christian Indians she fled her village. Two months later and about two hundred miles through woods, rivers and swamps, Kateri arrived at the Sault.

On Christmas Day, 1677, Kateri received her first Holy Communion. Here she lived in the cabin of a Christian Indian, Mary Teresa Tegaiaguenta. She and Kateri became friends. Both girls performed extraordinary penance. Kateri and her friend asked permission to start a religious community. The request was denied.

At Caughnawaga she contributed to the community's economy while engaging in great personal sacrifices. She also continued to keep her personal vow of chastity.

In 1678, Kateri was enrolled in the pious society called The Holy Family because of her extraordinary practices of all virtues.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha died on April 17, 1680, when she was 24 years of age. When she died, much to the amazement of those in attendance, all the disfiguring scars on her face miraculously disappeared.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in Rome on June 22, 1980, in the presence of hundreds of North American Indians. She is now known to us as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha died on April 17, 1680, when she was 24 years of age. In the past, we commemorated her Feast Day on the day of her death. April 17 often falls during the season of Lent or during Easter Week. When the Bishops of the United States gathered for their fall meeting in Washington, DC, in November 1982, they voted to change the day of observance of the Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to July 14th. The new feast day will enable the Church in the United States to celebrate and honor Blessed Kateri without the feast day overlapping with the season of Lent. We prayerfully await the day that our Holy Father proclaims her Saint Kateri.

Source: http://impurplehawk.com/kateri.html


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>>> Reference information:
- ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ on brink of sainthood /www.thestar.com/
- Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks to be canonized /http://aptn.ca/

* The painting in this post: "Lily of the Mohawk", 72"x35", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau; Currently part of the Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI); Formerly in the collection of R.E. Mansfield (1937-2007), donated to NMAI in 2003; Catalog number: 26/4095.

'Winter Wonderland' by Jana Mashonee

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~ Sung in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)
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By JanaMashonee
-- /www.janamashonee.com /
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"We natives believe in the following saying: "Our God is Native. The Great Deity of the Five Planes is so. We are neither for nor against, We speak not of Christ nor of God. We say, 'Let them be.' We follow the Spirit on its Inward Journey of Soul through attitudes and attentions. Remember we are all in a big School and the Inner Master teaches us Experience over many Lifetimes."

Norval Morrisseau



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Authenticity known

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* This post was originally published on May 27th, 2008-

by Ross Montour
May, 2006
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Two weeks ago I attended a major retrospective of Ojibwa artist Norval Morrisseau at Canada's National Gallery of Art. There is nothing 'western' about Morrisseau's art. It grows powerfully and organically out of his own people's Native tradition. It makes no apologies on behalf of its creator - indeed it confronts western sensibilities and announces its own potency. Morrisseau could care less if the 'white man' never declared him credible; he knows his authenticity. Like the great Nanibooshou of his people's legends, Morrisseau shakes his great head, lays down his foot and the leaves fall from the trees. Compare this to European art at the turn of the last century. Photography, a creature of western technology, had only recently reared its head prompting artists to run for the cover of ingenuity. "Something new, something new," became the 'Om' of art. That most deconstructionist of artists Pablo Picasso sheds an interesting light on all of this. When he and others in his circle began co-opting forms from oceanic and African cultures it was an admission of the desperate extremes western artists would go to in order 'break new ground.'

And while their adoring publics were tittering about the greatness of these new maestros' wild and carnivorous works, the newly reforming masters of orthodoxy continued to mischaracterize the sources of Picasso et al's 'inspiration.' They continued to look down their noses at the 'primitives' (savages) who truly created the source art and their cultures. In Canada, Native artists who painted in styles and forms that grew authentically out of their own cultures had to live with the fact that in their own land their works were 'banished' from the cultural temples of white society - i.e. the major public art galleries. For over 40 years the 'esteemed' Art Gallery of Ontario revealed its ethnocentricity by declaring the works of Morrisseau and others as being fit only to be shown in ethnographic and natural history museums. How barren!

Back to the Morrisseau exhibition in Ottawa. After viewing the showing, my wife and I decided to take in the works of the permanent collection. Walking through hall after hall of Flemish masters and Italian renaissance masters etc., we stumbled across a room labeled 'New York School.' Entering the room we were immediately confronted by two massive colour field paintings by Barnett Newman. One of these - 'Red Stripe' [1] - was a triptych nearly 20 feet in height. It almost demanded an act of worship be done. I laughed out loud because, for one thing, it reminded me of my first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Remember the scene at the end when the cavemen come upon the huge blank monolith, the drums pounding out the rhythm in the soundtrack... Enigmatic to say the least! In the end they worshipped nothing. My sincerest thanks for your patience in reading this rant. I make no apology though - I am, after all, a Mohawk.

Ross Montour
Kahnawake, QC, Canada

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[1] - 'Red Stripe' is referring to the Barnett Newman's 'Voice of Fire'.


Source: Robert Genn's "The Painter's Keys"


>>> Reference post:
- The exhibition that ended institutionalized discrimination against First Nations art at the National Gallery of Canada.

* The painting in this posting: "Shaman Warrior", 48"x23", © 1990s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Robert Lavack and the Norval Morrisseau Postage Stamp /Revised/

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~ Reference for Morrisseau's collectors and investigators
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© 1973 Norval Morrisseau/© 1990 Canada Post Corporation

~ Designed by Clermont Malenfant; Edition run of 72,500,000 stamps: Date of Issue: October 25, 1990; Printer: Ashton-Potter Limited; Publisher: Canada Post Corporation


"One of the many honours bestowed upon Norval Morrisseau was the request to design the annual Christmas stamp for 1990. Originally painted in 1973, the image depicts the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child and St. John the Baptist. This panting is from collection of the Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Hull, Quebec. Day of issue was October 25th, 1990."

The above text was originally posted on this blog on November 15th, 2007 (click HERE). The truth about what had really transpired prior to the stamp being issued by Canada Post Corporation was posted by Angie Littlefield on her www.angielittlefield.com in article titled: 

Robert Lavack and the Norval Morrisseau Postage Stamp

"Robert Lavack started agitating for Norval to be considered to design a Native Canadian postage stamp in 1970. He contacted Keith Penner, then Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay, F.G. Flatters, the Chief of the Postage Stamp Division of the Post Office Department, Mr. Gorden Aiken M.P. for Parry Sound/Muskoka, Leo Bernier, Minister of Mines and Northern Affairs and even his old pal, Dr Walter Kenyon, then Associate Curator, Office of the Chief Archeologist of the Royal Ontario Museum. In an April 13, 1971 letter to Mr Flatters which Dr Kenyon wrote at Robert's suggestion, he wrote of Norval,

"Through his art, he has become almost a legendary spokesman, not only for his own Ojibway people, but for the Native Candians generally, and in the art galleries of the world he is respected as an outstanding Canadian. These, surely, are impressive credentials."

The letter exchange about the issue continued until just before Mr. Lavack left to work on the smallpox eradication program conducted by the World Health Organization in Africa."

Angie Littlefield





>>> Reference posts:
- 1990 Christmas Stamp Design,
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THE MORRISSEAU PAPERS (Part I),
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IN MEMORIAM: NORVAL MORRISSEAU
-/Ref. "Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist"/,
- THE MORRISSEAU PAPERS (Part II);
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Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part III) /Ref. Robert Lavack/,
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Mr. Robert Lavack's Open Letter to Spirit Walker...,
- Correspondence between Norval Morrisseau and Mr. Robert Lavack (Part I);
- Others about NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG (Part II) &
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NO! NO! MORRISSEAU - Review of 'Christmas Letter to Norval Morrisseau' by Mr. Robert Lavack.

* The painting appearing on Canada Post Corporation stamp: "Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist", 40"x32", © 1973 Norval Morrisseau /Collection of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Indian Art Centre/

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Blog has 1,800 posts!

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NORVAL MORRISSEAU, © Eberhard Otto


"This Blog is posted in honour of the Spirit of Norval Morrisseau a.k.a. Copper Thunderbird - Grand Shaman of the Ojibway. Also, this is the first and the only Blog incepted during Norval Morrisseau’s lifetime. It is dedicated entirely to the preservation of his artistic legacy along with the living presence of the Ojibway peoples on the North American continent." 

Ugo Matulić a.k.a. Spirit Walker
/spiritwalker2008@gmail.com/

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"St. Rose Herself, My Spiritual Wife", © 1971 Norval Morrisseau

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* This post was originally published on December 28th, 2009


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"St. Rose Herself, My Spiritual Wife", © 1971 Norval Morrisseau
- In 1975 exhibited at Jack Pollock's gallery (Pollock Gallery), Toronto, ON
-/Click on image to Enlarge/


~ St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852)
Also Known as: The Lady of Mercy; Woman Who Prays Always
                                ~ Feast: November 18

Rose Philippine Duchesne came to the wilds of North America when anything west of Pittsburgh was considered uncharted wilderness. She came up the Mississippi to Missouri and established a school at St. Charles as early as 1818, while St. Elizabeth Seton was doing her work in the eastern United States. She is the foundress of the American branch of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

She was born in Grenoble, France, in 1769, her father a successful businessman. She was educated by the Visitation nuns and, although her father opposed her decision, she entered the Visitation Order in 1788, in the middle of the French Revolution. She was not able to make her profession because of the disruption of the Revolution and had to return home when the Visitation sisters were expelled from their convents.

During the Revolution, she cared for the sick and poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. After the Revolution, she tried to reorganize the Visitation community but was unsuccessful, so she offered the empty convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and entered the Sacred Heart Order herself. When the bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his huge Louisiana diocese, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne came to the United States, arriving in New Orleans in 1818.

She and her four nuns were sent to St. Charles, Missouri, where she immediately opened a school; then at Florissant, she built a convent, an orphanage, a parish school, a school for Indians, a boarding academy, and a novitiate for her order. In 1827, she was in St. Louis where she founded an orphanage, a convent, and a parish school. Her energy and ideas were prodigious. When she was seventy-two years old, she founded a mission school for Indian girls in Kansas and spent much of her time there nursing the sick. She was ever concerned about the plight of Native Americans, and much of her work was devoted to educating them, caring for their sick, and working against alcohol abuse.

Her last years were spent at St. Charles, a model and inspiration to those around her, facing all the hardships of pioneer work. She died on November 18, 1852, at the age of eighty-three and was canonized in 1988. She was truly the "missionary of the American frontier," one that her beloved Potawatomi Indians called , "Woman-who-prays-always."

Indeed, she had need of prayer; not only to bear her many responsibilities, but also to accept the untold disappointments she met from within and without her religious community. She did not often "get her own way" but she surely accepted all tribulation as well as joy, as "God's way!"

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"We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self."
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Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
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"I live now in solitude and am able to use my time reflecting on the past and preparing for death. I cannot put away the thought of the Indians and in my ambition I fly to the Rockies."
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Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
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Sources: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/DUCHESNE.HTM; http://saints.sqpn.com/saintr20.htm; http://www.cin.org/kc87-4.html.


>>> To read 'The Globe and Mail' article featuring painting titled 'St. Rose Herself, My Spiritual Wife' click HERE.

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* The painting in this post: "St. Rose Herself, My Spiritual Wife", 40"x26", © 1971 Norval Morrisseau; Acquired directly from Shayne Gallery, Montreal, QC by the current owner in 1975; Earlier in 1975 "St. Rose Herself, My Spiritual Wife" was also exhibited at Jack Pollock's gallery (Pollock Gallery), Toronto, ON /Private Collection/>>> Currently availabe for purchase at the Old Downtown Gallery, Orangeville, ON / 519-943-6343 /.