fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

At the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, a new exhibit just opened that features an Indigenous artist’s exhibition, Royal Portrait, emphasizing the importance of Indigenous matriarchs through reimagining royal regalia and portraiture.

1. Morgan AsoyufMorgan Asotyuf portrait (Photo/Courtesy George Lawson Photography)The artist, Morgan Asoyuf, is a Ts’msyen Eagle Clan artist from Ksyeen River (Prince Rupert area), British Columbia, Canada. Asoyuf, 38, has quite the list of experience. She first received a Certificate of Fashion Design from the Blanche Macdonald Centre (Vancouver, BC) before apprenticing under wood sculptors Henry Green (Tsm'syen) and Phil Gray. She has also apprenticed with wood sculptor Richard Adkins (Haida).

She has also studied bronze casting and even went on to receive diplomas in Jewelry Design and Stone Cutting from the Vancouver Metal Art School. Asoyuf even completed an intensive gem setting program at Revere Academy. 

Her work has previously been featured in places such as the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, the Museum of Vancouver, the Steinbrueck Native Gallery

In Asoyuf’s exhibit, she re-envisions the crowns, scepter, mantles, and jewelry that identify leaders to confront the traditional societal structures that exist. She uses jewelry and photography to shift the view of the power balance towards that of the matriarch. 

Asoyuf features Indigenous matriarchs and activists in regalia.  

In Ts’msyen culture, the matriarchs hold a special high-ranking position that can be both compared and contrasted to the western concept of royalty. It is the matriarchs job to make sure their community and land are taken care of. 

 “Today, there is much confusion and struggle in our communities in making these important decisions, especially around land,” writes Asoyuf. “Colonial governments and modern tribal councils often do not respect these inherent rights.”

Issues like Land Back, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Two Spirit Individuals, and environmental sovereignty, are important movements that Asoyuf strives to bring attention to through her work. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

“It is a crucial time for our people to create conversations around traditional societal structures, power and leadership,” Asoyuf stated. “We must properly acknowledge our matriarchs.”

Her exhibit will be featured at the Metal Museum Keeler Gallery from now till September 25. 

https://www.metalmuseum.org/tributaries-morgan-asoyuf

More Stories Like This

Q&A: Ruth-Ann Thorne, Founder of N8iv Beauty
Here's What's Going in Indian Country, April 12 — 18
Q&A: First Nations Artist Jay Soule on Blending Indigenous Themes with Pop Culture
Here's What's Going in Indian Country, April 6 — April 11
'Grounded by Our Roots,' A New Indigenous Art Exhibition, Opens at the American Museum of Natural History

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.