Listen to America Meredith on “The Old Arrow Maker”
Edmonia Lewis ogii-maamiikwendaan Henry Wadsworth Longfellowan gaa-ozhibii’aminid Hiawatha Onagamowin miidash ozhitood Gete-Baawaniked. Lewis gii-daa Rome apii ningoding-midaaswaak-niishwaaswaaki izhiseg miinawaa oshki-ezhi-mookodaasod, onzaam
mookodaagaazojin naasab inaabandaminid gaye gegaa niibawinid babaamenimangwaa. Lewis waabanda’aan wenji-biizikawaanid Bwaanimakokaanzh- naabikawaaganan miinawaa biizikaminid Anishinaabe-pashkweginimakizinan gaye gibide’ebizonan mii aawinid Anishinaabeg.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha” inspired Edmonia Lewis to carve The Old Arrow Maker. Lewis, a neoclassical sculptor based in Rome in the 1800s, lent tension to the scene by sculpting both figures looking in the same direction, almost poised to rise. While their clothing and adornment are generalized, Lewis pays homage to Native American ancestry through hints—such as the Dakota bear-claw necklace and Anishinaabe deer-hide moccasins and vests.