Grand Procession: Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection

April 17, 2013–January 01, 2014
Washington, DC

Grand Procession celebrates Native identity through 23 colorful and meticulously detailed objects that are much more than dolls. Traditionally made by female relatives using buffalo hair, hide, porcupine quills, and shells, figures like these have long served as both toys and teaching tools for American Indian communities. Outfitted in intricate regalia, these dolls—on loan from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection—represent Plains and Plateau tribes and the work of five artists: Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Lakota), Joyce Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux), Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty (Assiniboine/Sioux), Jessa Rae Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux), and Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock). Their superb craftsmanship and attention to detail imbue these figures with a remarkable presence and power, turning a centuries-old tradition into a contemporary art form.

Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Lakota), Maternal Journey (detail), 2010. Wood, hide, cloth, paint, glass beads, hair, shell, metal. Photo by Mark Damon, courtesy of the artist.
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