Michigan State University masthead

LORRAINE SHANANAQUET

Artist biography

LORRAINE SHANANAQUET

Wa-sa-bien-no-qua (Lady of the Northern Light)
Ojibwe (Lynx Clan)/Potawatomi
Hopkins, Michigan

Image of Lorraine Shananaquet

Punkin, as Lorraine Shananaquet is known, comes from a family of artists and cultural leaders. George Martin, her father, is a highly accomplished beadworker and carver who often serves as a head dancer and judge in pow wows in the Great Lakes area. Her mother, Sydney Martin, is a respected maker of clothing and dance regalia. Her husband, David Shananaquet, is a well-known painter whose work hangs in numerous museums and galleries in Michigan.

Shananaquet carries on her family's traditions of beading, regalia making, and dancing and is often asked to be the lead dancer in area pow wows. She takes a special interest in beadwork and painstakingly combs shops, garage sales, and flea markets to locate old garments made of the tiny antique beads she prefers to use in her work. Her regalia incorporates traditional materials, symbols, and designs of the Woodland Indians.

Shananaquet is passing on her traditional knowledge to her children, who regularly assist her with beading and dance in regional pow wows. Accompanied at times by other members of her family, she occasionally makes cultural presentations to schools and other organizations.

Artist's work

Image of Great Turtle Island by Lorraine ShananaquetObject measurements and display specifications:

Lorraine Shananaquet
Great Turtle Island, 1994
Copper, beaded gorget
Gorget: 8 3/4"
Beaded strand: 7 1/4"
Sisters of the Great Lakes Collection
MSU Museum 7594.3

Objects held in free-standing vitrine: base height = 33 inches; base width = 24 x 24 inches; acrylic height is 12 inches. Sewing basket with lid sits on floor of case. Gorget rests on specially designed coated wire mount. The beaded strand is suspended with knotted end fitting into a taller coated wire mount.  Both wire mounts are permanently fixed within case.