Spoon and Yoke

Yoke

Wood, Cotton Maker unrecorded Cheboygan, westside Burt Lake, Michigan, Great Lakes Region

About

Namanji-ayi’iing ako debani-ayi’iing

Emikwaan
Mitigwan
Gaazheninjiged gaawiin mikwendaagozisiid
Zhaabo’iganing, bangishimong Burt Zaaga’igan, Mishigaming, Anishinaabewakiing
Giizhigad gaawiin mikwenjigaadesinog, gii-bagidinang 1926
O’awiwaan noongom Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamig izhi-Ganawendaanaawaan Gaazheninjigaadeg Ezhi-gaa-wiijiindiwaad 1618-a

Naabikawaagan
Mitigwan, Gidagiigin
Gaazheninjiged gaawiin mikwendaagozisiid
Zhaabo’iganing, bangishimong Burt Zaaga’igan, Mishigaming, Anishinaabewakiing
Giizhigad gaawiin mikwenjigaadesinog, Charles Massy gii-bagidinang 1926
O’awiwaan noongom Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamig izhi-Ganawendaanaawaan Gaazheninjigaadeg Ezhi-gaa-wiijiindiwaad 1636

Ge owaabanda’aanan zhizhoobii’igewinan miinawaa naagadaajimowinan, Carlson gaye dagonang niizh gegoon gii-mikang Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamig izhi-Ganawendaanaawaan Gaazheninjigaadeg Ezhi-gaa-wiijiindiwaad: mitigo-emikwaan gaye naabikawaagan. Gaazheninjigejig, debenjigejig, gaye ezhi-aabajichigaadeg bwaa-mikwendaagwag. Gakina nigikendaamin dash gaa-onzikaag (Zhaabo’iganing, bangishimong Burt Zaaga’igan, Mishigaming, Anishinaabewakiing) gaye eni-biboon gii-miinigooyaang Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamigong (1926).

Aapiji ogii-gichi-inendaanan onow, Carlson gii-dagonang izhi-zhizhoobii’ang izhinikaadeg Zazaagiziwinini (Ishpaa-ayi’iing waabanda’igan, anaami-ayi’iing ge namanji-ayi’iing) gaye Nibi (Ishpaa-ayi’iing waabanda’igan, anaami-ayi’iing ge debanii-ayi’iing.) Zazaagiziwinini izhi-nisidawendaagwad ge Anishinaabe ininiwag bwaa-gaashkaashka’aawaad anaami-akikong miijim, ge ikwewan dash awashime maada’ookiinid. Ikidowin “nibi” izhi-nisidawaabanjigaade “water” Anishinaabemong gaye dash dibishkoo awiiya aawazibiidinimaaganed. Carlson izhi-zhizhoobii’aanan, onow gegoon inaagwag ge agondeg niigaaning babaami-ayaa-waanikaaning zhaabwaabanjigaadeg anisibing Burt Zaaga’iganing – ge onzikaag aanawi bwaa-atesinog imaa noongom.

Spoon
Wood
Maker unrecorded
Cheboygan, westside of Burt Lake, Michigan, Great Lakes Region
Date unrecorded, donated 1926
Loan courtesy of University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, 1618-a

Yoke
Wood, Cotton
Maker unrecorded
Cheboygan, westside Burt Lake, Michigan, Great Lakes Region
Date unrecorded, donated 1926 from Charles Massy [sic] Loan courtesy of University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, 1636

In addition to paintings and poems, Carlson’s cache includes two objects she selected from the collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology: a wooden spoon and yoke. The original makers, owners, and circumstances of these well-worn objects are unrecorded. All we know is the approximate location in which they were reportedly found (Cheboygan county, on the west side of Burt Lake) and the year they were donated to the U-M collection (1926).

Inspired by these objects, Carlson represents them in her paintings A Selfish Man (above case, bottom left) and Nibi (above case, bottom right). A Selfish Man refers to the Anishinaabe cultural practice of prohibiting men from scraping the remaining food from the bottom of a kettle, as women are viewed as being more equitable in the distribution of resources. The word “nibi” means “water” in Anishinaabemowin and references the practice of resting a wooden yoke across one’s shoulders to carry vessels of water. In Carlson’s paintings, these objects appear to float in front of portal views onto the crystalline waters of Burt Lake—as if they are from this place, but decidedly displaced.

About the Exhibit

Future Cache at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

In Andrea Carlson Future Cache, a 40-foot-tall memorial wall towers over visitors, commemorating the Cheboiganing (Burt Lake) Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians who were violently burned from their land in Northern Michigan on October 15, 1900. Written across the walls above and around the memorial, a statement proclaims Anishinaabe rights to the land we stand on: “You are on Anishinaabe Land.”

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