North American Indian Silver Craft – U'mista Cultural Centre
North American Indian Silver Craft

North American Indian Silver Craft

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Precious little has ever been published about the jewelry - often exquisite, and symbolically rich made by First Nations silversmiths. One of the few sources is a series of essays by the famous Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson, also known as Tekahionwake.

They appeared in an obscure American magazine in 1910. A few years later, after she had been diagnosed with cancer, Johnson revisited the material, revising and rearranging it slightly, evidently with book publication in mind. But death intervened in 1913 and the manuscript was never published. It appears only now, in an inexpensive pocket-sized edition, complete with Johnson's own drawings of several key pieces.

Pauline Johnson was a poet, short story writer, essayist - and celebrity. In the last years of the 19th century and the first of the 20th, she was the most famous living writer of indigenous ancestry, known, through her books and public readings, to readers in the United States, Britain and especially her native Canada.