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This year, our Slow Food USA member gift was a print by Mohawk artist Roger Perkins titled “Turtle Island.” We’re grateful to the thousands of people in the US who have committed to advancing our mission of good, clean and fair food for all by becoming members. Join today for as little as $30!

Artist’s Statement

“This continent has always been known as ‘Turtle Island.’ The Hotinonshonni Creation story tells of life beginning on the back of a great sea turtle, life that came from a pregnant woman  who fell from the sky… ‘Ietenistenha Ohontsia.’ With her, she brought the seeds of life, sang and danced in a circle on the turtle’s back. Each complete circle she made she would spread  those seeds and soil creating various fruits, flowers, medicines and trees until on the 28th circle she lain down and gave birth to a daughter who becomes the mother of all life. The Hummingbird represents the continuation of the original cycles of life and the continuation of life on mother earth. The red, black, white and yellow figures represent the humans  of mother earth responsible for giving thanks and being stewards of nature to ensure abundance for the unborn children.”  

— Roger Perkins

About the artist

Roger Perkins is Mohawk, from the Bear Clan of the Akwesasne Reservation. This small reservation in Northeast New York borders Quebec and Ontario. Roger is a graduate of the Institute of American Arts in Santa Fe and currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. 

Roger works full-time as an artist and teaches on his reservation. In addition to developing Powowpopart, he revived the ancient art of Mohawk pottery with the help of spiritual insight and mentors. Roger shares his multi-dimensional artistic perspective with humor, encouraging us not to dwell, nor ignore a negative and deeply traumatic past. He moves forward in his positive and bright way, honoring his traditions as he immerses us in his contemporary vision of his heritage.

Background photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash