Salsa is where virtuosic music meets great dancing. Salsa del Soul performs frequently around the Tin Cities, including Saturday Jan 19 at the Mediterranean Cruise Café in Burnsville. Shai Hayo is the leader of the band. He spoke with Phil Nusbaum about the approach taken by Salsa del Soul.
Sarah Agaton Howes is one of two moccasin artists who have been named 2018 Native American Artists in Residence at the Minnesota Historical Society. She’s revitalizing Ojibwe styles of moccasin making in her Fond du Lac band community.
The Minnesota Historical Society is also naming Dakota artist Cole Jacobson as Artist in Residence. Jacobson is focused on Dakota moccasin making and material culture.
Fond du Lac Moccasin artist Sarah Agaton [ag-uh-tun] Howes [hows] has just received statewide recognition.
Here’s Reporter Melissa Townsend with the story.
Sarah Agaton Howes is one of two moccasin artists who have been named 2018 Native American Artists in Residence at the Minnesota Historical Society.
But she says she wasn’t always interested in making traditional art
HOWES: My mom’s an artist and had tried to teach me to bead when I was a teenager and I just threw it across the room. I was like this takes forever, this is so stupid. You know [laughs].
In her twenties Sarah wanted to dance in pow wows, so she had to learn how to bead to make her own regalia.
Later she started selling her beaded earrings and moccasins.
She realized she was getting at lot of requests for moccasins.
According to some Anishinaabe tradition, children receive their first pair of moccasins when they are 4 days old. New pairs are made for special occasions and ceremonies and then in the end, a final pair is made for loved ones being buried.
It’s a practice that was disrupted when ancestors were taken to boarding schools and punished for practicing their culture.
HOWES: I realized that what my community needed was not for me to be making things - but for me to be helping people become makers. We need a moccasin maker in every family. (:12)
So when people asked her to make a pair of beaded moccasins, she’d say …
HOWES: Well, I’ll show you how to do it. (:02)
Since then Sarah says she’s taught hundreds of people in her Fond du Lac community how to sew their own moccasins.
She says at first a lot of people are discouraged.
HOWES: You’re learning how to thread a needle and your poking yourself and your bleeding and your frustrated and all those feelings that are coming through that…
And then there’s this part where - people sew the moccasin inside out — and they are just sure that there is no way that this is going to be an actual shoe. So they’re working and struggling and I’m just kind of smiling because I know where this is going. And they flip it right side out and there is this look on their face that is so amazing because it’s like this moment when you become this competent Anishinaabe person. Like this is one part of us building back into ourselves, if that makes sense.
As the Minnesota Historical Society’s Artist in Residence, Sarah Agaton Howes plans to produce a book of patterns for moccasin making.
HOWES: This set of patterns that I’ve developed will end up being there for everybody else because what these things are all for is for everybody. None of them are just mine. (:10)
The Minnesota Historical Society is also naming Dakota artist Cole Jacobson as Artist in Residence.
Jacobson is focused on Dakota moccasin making and material culture.