New Vision of Native American

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln held a contest-exhibit called “Contemporary Native American Art.” In this contest-exhibit transculturation can be seen in two pieces of work done by Mrs. Colleen Friday. Friday’s piece called “Business Chiefs series: Yellowcalf, Sharpnose, Black Coal” is quite interesting. This artwork can be described as three pictures side by side of three different Native American men dressed in modern American business suites from the neck down, but with vintage Native American features on their faces. One of the three men even has a Native American chief’s head piece made of bird feathers, which adds to the vintage Native American theme. This picture represents transculturation because the artist mixes the cultures of the modern American business man with the vintage Native American. Friday’s next piece is called “Traversation.” This artwork also toys with the mixing of two cultures. It is an oil painting of two different parents pulling their children in two different means of transportation. One parent has the theme of the modern American parent. The man is pulling his child in a seat that straps on to the back of his bicycle. In contrast, the other parent has the theme of the vintage Native American parent. The woman is on horseback and uses two long branches strapped to the back of the horse as a seat for her child. This painting represents transculturation because it mixes the two cultures of vintage Native American and modern American just as Friday’s “Business Chiefs series: Yellowcalf, Sharpnose, Black Coal” art piece does.

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