Traditional Anishinaabe art is beautiful for its form and function; everyday items are imbued with individuality and distinguish the unique identity of their maker. Clothing, utensils, baskets, pottery, weapons, and tools among many other practical objects carry the signature of the Anishinaabeg and reflect their environment, history, culture, and spirituality. The art of the Anishinaabe is easily recognizable by its floral motifs, symmetry, and bright colours.
Plants, bark, berries, hides, porcupine quills, shells and many more natural materials are used to create traditional Anishinaabe art. The Anishinaabe are especially renowned for their finger weaving, ribbon appliqué (Pottawatomi), black ash baskets and also for the floral designs of their beadwork. Basket making is a family tradition in Kettle and Stony Point and community members have been diligent in ensuring the vitality of the craft.
Careful selection of the black ash used to make the baskets requires expert knowledge of foliage, tree identification, and conservation. Trees are selected based upon the straightness of their trunks to produce even “splints”. The tree is cut after the straight trunk has been measured five to six inches in diameter and to approximately four to six feet in length. The bark is peeled away and the end of the log is pounded with the blunt end of an axe to separate the splints from the annual rings around the tree. The splints are sorted and can be made into smaller strips.
After the strips are sorted they are soaked to make them more pliable. The strips will then be cut to various lengths and woven into baskets. The baskets range from simple to intricate in design and can carry spiritual significance such as the tiny strawberry basket which was given to children after their naming ceremony and would be used to contain important items throughout the child's life.
Kettle and Stony Point is also home to many contemporary artists who use various media like painting, sculpture, music, and theatre. Artists such as Gail Bressette, Moses Lunham, and Dennis Henry are well known for their unique paintings and sculptures. Performing artists like sisters Candace and Jessica Wilde have also achieved international success.
Click on one of the following names below to view the artists' bio.