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Booming Out is an intricate work of art created by

Booming Outis an intricate work of art created by Carla Hemlock in 2015.Hemlock is a Native American Mohawk quilter. The pieceisa rectangular quilt of58 inches wide by60 inches long. At the quilt’s center is a sun shape. Inside the sunshapeis a smaller circlewith a redcolored Native Americanwearing aheaddress. TheNative Americanissilhouetted against ablue and whitecloudy sky,decorated withpurple, brown and whitewampum.Around theNative American’shead is agroup of people holding hands. Both the people and theNative American arealsooutlined withglass beads andmulti-coloredwampum.The points of the sun on the quilteachcontain apicture of an indeterminate skyline, possiblyNew Yorksince most high steel workers worked in that area. Between each triangle are silhouettes that show Native Americansworkingon buildingshigh in the sky. This scene is completelyset on ablack background witha diamond pattern. The placard states that it: ” pays tribute to our men, and now many of our women who continue a long standing tradition of what we know to be “ironworking””(MIA placard).I believe that the artist feltextraordinary pride inthereputation theNative Americansthatwere famous for their expertise inhigh steel work.Hemlock wanted toexpressher appreciation and unending loyalty to her people by immortalizing them in the form of a quilt. Since we’ve studied many Native American cultures in the textbook, let’s review them to determine which culture, I believe, matches with Hemlock’s quilt.

In the textbook, we’ve learned about different Native American cultures located in Mesoamerica, the Intermediate Area, South America and North America. The Mesoamerica culture includes ceramicfigurinesandjade heads, as well as giantpyramid templesmade of stonesuch as thetemplesatTikal(Kleiner, p.500). There are also carved lintels in the templesalong with mural paintingsof various gods. The colossal basalt headswith powerful expressionsand large pillar statutes of people are oftenthought of asa representation of thearea’srulers. The Mesoamericaculture also included massive courts for their ball games andfrescoes on cylindricalvases. TheMayan peoplekept extensive written records and possessed sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Even today,archaeologistshave beenattemptingto uncover and decipherMesoamericanartifacts for over acentury.In the 1950s, important breakthroughs in Mayanhieroglyphicsand epigraphersoccurred. Archaeologists often refer to the Olmec culture as the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica, becausemany ofMesoamerican’s religious rites and culturaltraditions can be traced to it.After reviewing thisinformation, I am confident that Hemlock is not including the Mesoamerican Native American culture in her quilted artwork.
The Intermediate Area includes the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Columbia. Within these countries, their Native American people groups excelled interracotta potteryand figures,ceramics,stone sculptures, jade carving and gold working. Thenorth Columbia regioncreated detailed necklaces that they believed had immense spiritual power.The Tairona region was especially skilled in goldsmithing and were known to use technically advanced hammering and lost wax processes in their work; to conserve the gold they had their possession. The Native American Intermediate peoples also did not createmuch in the way ofarchitecture, unlike their neighbors of the North and SouthAmericas. They have no written records. Even with this small amount of information, it’sveryunlikely that Hemlock’s quilt is representative of the Intermediate AreaNative Americanarea. None of their artifact history matches the images on the Hemlock’shandmade creation.
In theSouthNativeAmerican culture, we learn about clay and stonesculptures, detailedpaintedceramic bowls, cottonfabrics, embroidery pieces, blankets, tapestries, clothing and intricate carvings. There are alsogiantearth drawings, other known as Nasca Lines,(Kleiner, p.511)andmetalworking, pottery, large slab carvings, and tiny gold earring ornaments. They were very skilled at building oversized monuments and painted sculptures. Even though less is known about the South American Native culture, this people group dated back farther than the Mesoamericans, and were more skilled to be able to create many different objects in their lengthy existence. We also learned that they mastered metal working and monument building earlier than theMesoamerican culture,andtheChilean peoplebegan to mummify their dead 500 years before the Egyptians.On the south coast of Peru, archaeologists have discovered textileswithpictures ofgods,that they believedmay have served as wall hangings in temples. Even afterreviewingallthe amazing artifacts, Hemlock’s quilt does not fit the description of a textile that would match with the South American Native American culture.

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The final culture covered in our textbook isNorth AmericaNative Americans. Generally, this people group used stoneforceremonialpurposes, buriedthedead inlargeearth mounds with ceremonial pipes, created and decorated potteryand built living structures out of stone and wood layered with adobe.Specifically, theMississippians liked small portablesitems like jewelry;andEskimosmadevery small artworks out of ivory. There were also the AncestralPuebloans, who built theirhomes into cliffs to cool them in the summer,(Kleiner, p.518)and heat them in the winter. Archaeologists have identified most of the surviving artifacts from the last 2,000 years.Because the vast land area of North America includes the United States and Canada, most researchers divide thecultural regionsbyon geography,language, family groups and artistic similarities. The Native Americanslifestylehabits varied greatly within the large continent as well. Some Natives banded together as continual hunters constantly on the move, others stayed in an area formuch ofthe year before moving on, and still others permanently settled down to create an urbanagriculturalcenter. Looking at the art producing Native Americans of North America, we see large people groupswhohave been successfully using theland (and turning it into something beautiful)long before the Europeans arrived. The AlaskanEskimosand the Canadian Inuithunted and fishedinthe arctic from Greenland to Siberia. The Southwestmaize farmersfigured out how to retrieve andfashioneffective irrigation systems, even though their land was dry, cracked and seemingly incapable of growing anything. The Southwest Native Americans alsobuilt wells, roads and dwellings into the sides of cliffs. The farming group ofNorth America Natives found a vast areateeming for fertile black soil that was perfect for growing many crops. We now call this region The Great Plains.I believe that if I did not know the creator of this work of art, I would be able to correctly guess the culture of origin.Even though thetextbook does not mention that the natives of North Americamade any textile based art, I believe thesilhouette of a Native American Indianis easily recognizable as a Mohawk from the North American area. Another not-so-subtle clue is the skyline of New York in the fabric as well.


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