Thursday, July 11, 2019

#192 / Let Wisdom Not Be Forgotten Or Ignored

Christi Belcourt (Métis) - The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014. Photograph
The Métis are members of ethnic groups native to Canada and parts of the United States. They trace their descent to both indigenous North Americans and European settlers. Above is a picture of an art work by a Métis artist, Christi Belcourt, entitled "The Wisdom of the Universe." This is the kind of wisdom that Leah Penniman talked about in yesterday's blog posting

Belcourt's work appears as part of a first ever museum retrospective of Native American and Canadian female artists, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists. The showing is being held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and will continue until August 18, 2019. Click here to read an article about the show, which The Guardian calls "groundbreaking."

The image above is stunning, and it made me think about how often we discount, forget, or ignore the wisdom that comes from the World of Nature, the world that ultimately sustains all life. 

As Belcourt shows in such a wonderful way, the Universe is exuberant, prolific, and is teeming with beautiful intricacies that make all life possible. Native peoples knew that this intricate and beautiful tapestry of life is something that should be celebrated as the source of all Wisdom. It must not be damaged or forgotten. It is the fabric of existence. "Science" should be an adventure in exploration, not exploitation.

Almost always, we ignore the Wisdom of the Universe. We are interested in our own thoughts and creations, and so we sail into calamity, perhaps even into extinction, without ever making use of the sustaining wisdom that Nature offers. 

I think that Belcourt is saying: "Look." "See." "There is still time to remember who we really are!"

Image Credit:

1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful that a Metis artist is being presented in this exhibit. Her piece is evocative of Metis tradition and culture, yet with a very contemporary angle. Metis people played a major role in the history of Western Canada, Montana and the Dakotas. When the "Indian Wars" raged on the Northern Plains, a similar struggle for self-determination and sovereignty was going on in Western Canada, with Metis and other native peoples being treated with similar brutality as Indian people in the US. Incidentally, the tradition of Red River fiddling, an elegant combination of French-Canadian and traditional US fiddle style is a Metis hallmark that is still alive today. That, along, with dancing the Red River Jig. And, after many years (like almost 100) of struggle it appears the Little Shell Band of Montana, a Chippewa-Cree group with many Metis members, may finally get tribal recognition by the federal government. They missed recognition by one vote in 2018, with Senator Mike Lee of Utah obstructing the action by withholding his vote. Prospects for a passing vote this time around are substantially better.


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