With this life-size ceramic American bison skeleton, Cannupa Hanska Luger reflects on the symbiotic relationships that sustain an environment. The buffalo, grasses, and people of the Plains in particular share a long history of nourishing one another. This ecosystem was drastically altered during the mid to late nineteenth-century, when the United States and its civilians waged a war of attrition against the region. As part of the broader project of westward expansion, settlers were encouraged to slaughter buffalo to collect bounty, ultimately reducing the estimated population of 60 million buffalo to just 1,500 by 1895.
"This loss of species not only affected my ancestors but also the land. Running down the center of North America, the Great Plains are one of the most endangered environments; many Indigenous grasses are dependent on the buffalo to thrive and have therefore also degenerated. In fact, there can be no true restoration without roaming herds of buffalo. (Be)Longing explores the cascading effects of a decimated species on our precious and interconnected environment.
(Be)Longing expresses how losing one species a hundred years ago has lasting effects in the 21st century. Through installation, sculpture and video, the piece implores audiences not to wait another hundred years to protect the next species in peril." -- Cannupa Hanska Luger
From the 2021 exhibition Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art and Morgan E. Freeman, DAMLI Native American Art Fellow
NAS 30.21, Native American Art and Material, Jami Powell, Spring 2020
ANTH 11/NAS 11, Ancient Native Americans, Madeleine McLeester, Fall 2020
PORT 8, Brazilian Portraits, Carlos Cortez Minchillo, Winter 2021
LACS 22.11, Latinx Intergenerational Literature, Marcela di Blasi, Spring 2021
ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2022
Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande, September 28 – December 28, 2019, 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Form and Relation: Contemporary Native American Ceramics, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 9-November 29, 2020.
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, with essays by Jami C. Powell, Anya Montiel and Sequoia Miller, Courtney M. Leonard, and Morgan E. Freeman. Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, 2020, University of Washington Press (p. 29, 84, 85).
Cannupa Hanska Luger, Glorieta, New Mexico; sold to present collection, 2020.
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