The Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe has been selected as a finalist and is currently preparing our final grant proposal for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Inclusive Public Arts Initiative. Our goal is to create a visual representation of our community and its history that can be used to facilitate conversations surrounding our identity within the context of colonialism, segregation, and political climates of the past, while also highlighting the contributions and achievements of our citizens despite historical challenges. We intend to use the installation as a think piece to give visitors insight and a deeper understanding of our tribal community and how we have maintained our distinct identity despite adversity faced by our citizens.
The Multipurpose Building, or The Library, as it is more commonly called is the location of many programs and events that provide educational, emotional, cultural, and social enrichment. We chose our theme for this mural in relation to the programs that are held within the library. This building houses the peoples’ tribal meeting, culture classes, our traditional arts programs, our youth programs, and our Youth Councils’ meetings. All the programs and events held here have had one common underlying theme and purpose, HEALING. Healing through culture, healing through art, and most importantly healing through conversation.
Multi Purpose Building - The Library
The many plants and prints displayed in our mural show this healing and what has or can come from the things that take place inside these walls. The many paw prints on the mural represent the characteristics we wish for all tribal citizens to have, in order to create this healing atmosphere, and the native plants are natural medicines that our people have used to remedy the many physical ailments and illnesses that may affect them.
One wood sculpture shows a woman holding the three sisters – Corn, Beans, and Squash – which to this day remain staples of our diet. The other, holds the sacred herbs we use in various ceremonies to pray and cleanse the spirit.