Let Us Now Give Thanks
Native American Art

Frank Buffalo Hyde

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in several parts of the world with minor variations in meaning and practice which began with originating events recorded some 400 years ago. By certain accounts it is a tradition which held days of fasting and days of being thankful for the harvest. Religious at its roots, as with the origin of many holidays, today it has become predominantly secular, if not abundantly commercial.

In America, it is the 4th Thursday in November. This moveable feast has evolved, or devolved, into the day of the greatest consumption and consumerism, corporal to start, moving to capital the following day, known throughout the world as Black Friday.

 

Frank Buffalo Hyde

Frank Buffalo Hyde

Frank Buffalo Hyde

It has evolved, or devolved, into the day of the greatest consumption and consumerism, corporal to start, moving to capital the following day, known throughout the world as Black Friday.

Like the anachronistic confederate statues that look on from the pedestals and the other misguided celebrations in America, the irony in light of the blood shed that brought us here is something to bear. After all, we are speaking of a nation’s founding conditioned on colonialism, proclamation premised on the blood of the natives, sustained with slavery, and driven to excess, where today the collection of civilian firearms exceeds the number of people and mass shootings outnumber the days of the calendar and where the simple promise of freedom often defeats its very practice. And so divisiveness rises and a nation elevates the most un-evolved men in modern history to place them at the head of the table and the spectacle of a single turkey pardoned while nearly 50 million others are preyed upon becomes the formula for redemption.

 

Fritz Scholder

Fritz Scholder

Fritz Scholder

Fritz Scholder

Merritt Johnson

Merritt Johnson

Today the collection of civilian firearms exceeds the number of people and mass shootings outnumber the days of the calendar and where the simple promise of freedom often defeats its very practice.

Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star

Nicholas Gallanin

Will Wilson

Postcommodity

Postcommodity

But today is Thanksgiving. Let us not forget. We are in awe of the indomitable spirit and moved by the kindness of the heart. Those inspired to do good: feeding the hungry, opening homes to neighbors, helping the needy during this time with record breaking cold forecast in many parts of the world.

Today we survey some contemporary Native American art, featuring works of Fritz Scholder, Frank Buffalo Hyde, Merritt Johnson, Nicholas Galanin, Wendy Red Star, Will Wilson, and the artist collective Postcommodity.

Let us now give thanks. And let us never forget our history.

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