Hearts of Our People: Legacy

Legacy provides for the transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to the next and is intrinsic to the artistic process of Native women. Legacy offers intergenerational continuity. It encapsulates the past, present, and future. It interconnects aesthetics and knowledge systems—ways of understanding the mutual links between one’s existence and the world specific to each Native nation transcending time and place.

Native women’s work keeps alive important techniques, aesthetic principles, and social protocols; it is steeped in Native modes of thinking, acting, and being.

Because of legacy, artistic patterns and techniques can be faithfully re-created for all time. But legacy also allows artists to change, adapt, re-form, and reimagine art forms. Each artwork in this exhibition demonstrates the continuity and resilience of legacy.