American Indian
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Teri Greeves (Dat tsa Ma) (Kiowa, born 1970),
High-top Tennis Shoes , 1995
Converse All Stars, beads, 6 ½ x 4 x 12 3/8 in.; 16.51 x 10.16 x 31.43 cm
Museum purchase, 1996.24.A-B

Native American artists have a long history of adopting new materials and styles and making them distinctively Indian; Greeves’ Converse high-tops are a modern variation of old themes. Her lively horse and foal recall but do not replicate the pictorial art of her Plains ancestors. The choice of tennis shoes rather than hide moccasins reflects contemporary fashion and utility. The artist says, “We exist…not as we were at the time of contact [but] with rawhide parfleche briefcases, and [beaded] stethoscopes around our doctors’ necks. [The] ‘art’ form my grandmothers and great grandmothers practiced [is changing] and alive.”

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