This exhibition is an acknowledgement and honouring of cornhusk, one of the most important and ancient materials used by the Haudenosaunne.
Exhibiting artwork made from corn husk as well as sharing the versatility of the corn plant.
“Cornhusk protects. It has protected the integrity of the corn seed on each cob, on every stalk in every field, every year, for too many years to count. Corn is still gathered, and the husk is still braided for storing the same way that it has been for several years over many generations. The husk that has and continues to protect the integrity of each kernel of corn is now used to protect the stories.” – Elizabeth Doxtater
Elizabeth Doxtater is one of the featured artists in this Exhibit alongside Frazer Sundown.
Born and raised on the Six Nations /Grand River Territory Elizabeth is a multi-media artist who explores and celebrates our history & stories through many mediums. She paints, does beadwork, and works with cornhusk.
For Elizabeth, working with cornhusk is like reaching back in time and working with the same material that our ancient ancestors worked with.
Elizabeth is the author of the books Dreamfast (2018) and Art of Peace (2016.) Most recently Elizabeth was commissioned by the Ontario College of Teachers to represent the four ethical standards of the teaching practice: Care, Integrity, Respect and Trust. Elizabeth and her family run a small gallery and shop in Ohsweken, called Everything Cornhusk
We are grateful that Elizabeth is keeping this art form alive to pass on to the next generations. Frazer Sundown acknolwedges Elizabeth as one of his inspirations in his own journey.
“I’m just honoured to be a part of something that celebrates our stories in a really traditional manner. My understanding is that cornhusk is a protector, since the time of creation it’s protected every kernel on every corn field, since that time and it continues to do that. What I try to do, is use that cornhusk to try and protect the stories,” – Elizabeth Doxtater
Frazer Sundown comes from the Oneida Nation of the Turtle Clan and has been working and creating with corn husk for over a decade. He started by braiding corn husks for ceremonial purposes as a helper for the people of his communities. Frazer was first taught by his father, Sheldon Sundown, who taught him the technique of weaving.
He was taught how to twine corn husk by Jamie Jacobs of the Tonawanda Reservation. This is the community where Frazer grew up and gained a vast amount of knowledge of culture including singing. Today Frazer resides in London, Ontario, where he creates many objects and artworks made of corn husk.
“Corn husk is something that is natural and comes from the earth. It becomes medicinal when working with corn husk and brings a sense of peace when working with it. Working with corn husk also brings people together where language, culture, and history is passed on orally. That being said, working with corn husk is not only a revitalization of weaving, however it brings our culture alive in its truest form.” – Frazer Sundown
This exhibition will be on display in the Tom Hill and Judy Harris galleries of the Woodland Cultural Centre from December 7.2019 – February 15 2020.
All support community members receive FREE admission to the museum including: Six Nations of the Grand River, Tyendinaga & Wahta
Throughout the exhibit you will see many stories shared through the Art of Cornhusk. The Creation story and the Peacemaker’s Journey are two stunning dioramas created by Doxtater. These are two very significant stories that have been told for many many years. We invite all educators, students, and community members out to learn these stories through such a beautiful art form.
We hope to see the surrounding communities out to share the history from the Hands of our Ancestors, and experience the stories held within this beautiful art work.