Honor the First
Pat Courtney Gold
Cotton with polyester batting
69" x 85"
Collection of Michigan State University Museum
Photo by Doug Elbinger, all rights reserved
Wasco artist Gold, a recipient of the National Endowment
for the Arts’ 2007 National Heritage Fellowship Award, says
of this quilt, "I wanted to do a quilt to represent various
tribal entities throughout the United States. I could not include
all nations, and it was hard picking the art forms on this quilt.
Each block represents a different tribal art and/or region. I especially
wanted to show respect for the elders in a block. I chose the clothing
style during transition from the 'traditional ways' to the 'white
man' ways. I felt this was a painful time in tribal history, and
the strength of the generation was passed to us. I left her face
undefined, so that as we look at her, we will each see our grandmothers.Another
strong symbol is the turtle. I did put various herbs in it, as do
many tribes. The circle of life is whole. I varied it by putting
a golden halo around it. It displays the reverence as do the halos
around the Christian figures."
The quilt includes: wood mask (Iroquois); beaded flower (Plateau);
whale (Alaska); basket design (Plateau); rabbit (Southwest); quote
(Iroquois); weaving modern twill; petroglyph (Southwest); Yei figure
(Navajo); cornhusk (Nez Perce); quote (Nez Perce), horse (Plains);
hand (U.S.); drum (Plains); frog (Northwest); quote (Shawnee); petroglyph
(Wasco); quail (Southwest); circle of life (U.S.); elder (U.S.);
quote (Cherokee); basket figure (Wasco); turtle (Midwest); salmon
(Northwest); bird (Pueblo); and shield (Alaska).
Deonna Todd Green
Cotton with polyester filling; hand quilted
48" x 48"
Collection of Michigan State University Museum, gift of the artist.
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved
Each of the 49 blocks in this quilt is devoted to a different
figure important in African-American history and includes an embroidered
portrait, the person's name, their birth/death date, and a note
about their accomplishment. The embroidery is in green, red, and
black embroidery floss—the colors of the Pan African Flag.
This flag originally created as the official banner of the African
Race by the members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) and African Communities League. It was formally adopted
by UNIA in article 39 of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro
Peoples of the World on August 13, 1920 during their convention
held in New York City. The flag and the colors became an African
nationalist symbol for the liberation of African people everywhere.