Ainihkiwa Barr’s Display

Left Cabinet

Canvas paintings, rattle, mask, grass braid, pouch, beaded bracelet and rabbit fur.


This display was put together by Ainihkiwa Barr, an SFSU student and AIS major.


Continued Genocide (painting on the left):

This piece is about the continued genocide of Native peoples by the US government. Starting with contact the blanket is representative of the blankets given to the Native peoples that were intentionally covered in small pox. The Sonogram is representative of how many women were forcibly sterilized (by government funded health facilities) and are unable to bear children. The glass of wine is a nod to the alcohol problem that is going on amongst Native peoples; in many cases it is abused because of self medication to help cope with many of the injustices done to us over the years. And lastly the black background is representative of the toxic waste that is getting dumped on Native reservations (with consent of government or minimal punishment by government) which lead to cancer and other life threatening health issues.


Take Flight (painting on the right):

This painting its representative of the sky and a Fancy Shawl Powwow Dancer. Fancy Shawl regalia (what they wear) and dance looks like the flight of a butterfly. This is the type of dance that I do and love. The gracefulness of the dancers and the bright colors of their shawls make for a beautiful sight. The paintings main theme is the rebirth of Native Pride and culture. We have been through a lot but we still gather for ceremonies and powwow’s. It was representative of hope and a statement that we are still here.


Seaweed Rattle:

This is a seaweed rattle that was made for me. It is the dried bulb of the seaweed then filled in with rocks or shells or beads (depends on who is making it) to make the rattle sound when finished. Then it was painted with me in mind so a dragonfly was painted on the outer bulb. A piece of shell and feathers were attached to the top for a slight decorative purpose as well as cultural reasons from the giver. I use this one for music purposes when singing with the drum with my cousins.


Hawaiian Mask:

I helped make this in Hawaii with my friend Kailani. It is a wooden mask depicting one character of many stories that she told we while we were working on it.


Sweet Grass Braid:

This is a sweet grass braid from my home, Browning Blackfeet Nation, it is very important to my people and smells like home.


The Brown Pouch:

This is my medicine bag that was gifted to me by Melissa Nelson (AIS Professor) and it was made by her father. I use it to hold my tobacco and or sage for prayers.


Beaded Bracelet:

This is a bracelet made by my little cousin, bead work is an important aspect of our lives and its a calming thing that my family and I like doing together.


Rabbit Fur (Died of natural causes, this piece is going to be used in my regalia some day)


One response to “Ainihkiwa Barr’s Display

  1. All the piesces shown are amazing and very inspirational. Im thankful for individuals who can culturaly present themselfs aswell as their heritage in such an artistic way for all of us to enjoy and understand. I wish the best of luck to Ainihkiwa. Keep up the good work!

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