11"(h) x 8.5" (w)
Giclee print on original Antique 1896 Montana Ledger Paper
#deadlyauntie Limited works available!Only 49 works up for grabs on my most recent ledger work. Giclee print on 1896 antique ledger paper #digitalart #benpease
After a rainy day one brisk August evening, I found myself sitting in my camp surrounded by family, teepees, and kids on ponies riding by carrying battery-powered toy guns. Under the shade constructed of ash tree posts and old- teepee poles for rafters, I sat for hours, only listening as the lone man with 8 of my mothers (aunts and other relatives). All of them carry very accomplished careers in education, law, business, and motherhood.
This past Crow Fair, like many other celebrations around the world, was the first in 2 years due to #Covid19. As Crow Fair conversations have always gone in our camp, My Aunties flowed naturally through tribal politics, water compacts, land rights, natural resource development, tribal preservation, etc... Then came reflections on everything we've lost in the wake of this global pandemic, from cultural knowledge bearers to family members, to friends.
Still simply listening to the stream of thoughts, topics began to shift to the Men who've been lost throughout the years to all forms of life as a Native American Man, I.e., drugs, alcohol, violence, prison, and disease. Loss to the extent that many Apsáalooke Women have been limited in finding life partners from their own community.
After such heavy talks, things became more light-hearted, and jokes and laughs came filtering in as conversations rounded into the storied love lives of a few sitting at the table.
Towards the end of cold the night seated around propane lanterns, One Aunt half-jokingly monologued on certain men braggadocious and boastful about having multiple women and wife-stealing. Lol. She then went on to present a mock call to action to the other Ladies in the group, saying, "shoot, why can't we do the same thing? It's Crow Fair! Let's go steal some men for ourselves!"
We all laughed ourselves into a silly daze before dispersing into the warmth of our beds in teepees and campers. It was a beautiful evening!
I'm fortunate to have been taught by many mothers throughout my life. I hope to continue learning from them and work to pass on the beauty they've provided me to my children and generations to come.