taaniši eehkwaatamaanki eehkwaatamenki peepankišaapiikahkia?
How is ribbonwork made?
Myaamia artists are once again striving to create peepankišaapiikahkia eehkwaatamenki ‘Myaamia ribbonwork’, an artform in which an artist layers, cuts, folds and sews ribbons onto textiles to create an intricate geometric pattern. Through an examination of the pieces created by our Myaamia ancestors we learned to identify several geometric patterns that are unique to our community. From this foundation, we continue to create new patterns. All of these geometric patterns produce waawaahsinaakwahki, a ‘shimmering’ effect that is common in the Myaamia aesthetic.
Today, ribbonwork continues to evolve as an artform. We now use taffeta due to cost, whereas our Myaamia ancestors used silk ribbons acquired through trade. Historically, ribbonwork was shaped by distinct gender roles. Men were responsible for acquiring the ribbons through trade and negotiation; women created the intricate pieces of art. The process by which ribbons came into the community and the possibility of their transformation required the efforts of men and women, as well as those in the community who moved between gender categories. Today, ribbonwork is made by people of all genders.