I heard a story of a Native American girl and a violin. Her name was Zitkala-sa. I was given this broken violin and Indian doll head and knew they were destined to be a tribute to this remarkable woman's life.
|A Native American bead design was recreated with paint.|
She was born in 1876 on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As a child she was taken from her family by Quaker missionaries to live at the White's Manual Labor Institute in Indiana.
|The edges of the violin I hand beaded with glue and beads, one by one. |
This part took over 4 hours.
While at school she discovered her musical talents and learned to play the violin...eventually even writing "The Sun Dance Opera."
|Zitkala-sa translates to "Red Bird", I drew these with paint pens.|
She went on to further her education beyond the housekeeper training prescribed for all young girls. She obtained her diploma and gave a speech on women's inequality, which received high praise.
|Around the edge of the painted design I added more embellishments.|
|Adding to the design....|
|On the back of the violin I added a photo of Zitkala-sa with her violin from the year 1898.|
|A quote from her writings reflecting on the time she was torn from her mother. All the writing was done with a white Signo pigment ink pen, that I got from my friend Marianne.|
|The entire back of the piece.|
|At the top of the violin I added this porcelain dolls head which reminded me of Zitkala-sa before her braids were cut off at school. The "19 crimes" wine cork which comes from an Australian Wine to me, represents the crimes against the Native Americans.|
Here is the piece in its entirety. I added some wind catchers given to me by a friend as well as a hand beaded bracelet on leather, and a piece of violin music, Beethoven's "Hymn of Joy". Because in the end she overcame her suffering and was a beacon of light for women and persons of color.