In the Ancestral Women Exhibit, award-winning jacquard weaver Mary Burns honors women’s journeys by creating their portraits in jacquard weavings. The Ancestral Women project was conceived to portray the strength of ancestral women around the world, both elders and their contemporaries, and to honor their journeys. The first phase of this larger project featured women elders from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native American tribes, 11 of which are federally recognized, and one, the Brothertown Nation, which is seeking federal status. Mary then wove six clan pieces for the exhibit (bear, loon, eagle, marten, crane, turtle) and four landscape pieces that illustrate essential cultural practices (maple sugaring, harvesting wild rice, building a birch bark canoe, and a piece showing a rising sun over a lake that symbolizes a new day).
My office was not large enought to display the complete exhibit, so I asked a number of my colleagues who serve on the Joint Legislative State Tribal Relations Committee to display some of these beautiful weavings in their offices and they enthusiastically agreed. Click on the links below to see which pieces are in which office. For more information on the exhibit. please visit the artist's website -