For centuries, women artists of the Wendat First Nation of Wendake in Quebec have created artworks of intricate design and complex meaning in moosehair and quill embroidery. Their work records and transmits ancestral knowledge across generations of artists and remains a vibrant and important practice today.
Breaking new ground in Indigenous art histories, Wendat Women’s Arts is the first book to bring together a full history of the Wendat embroidery art form. Annette de Stecher challenges the historical anonymity of Indigenous women artists by arguing for their central role in community history and ceremony. Through their art, these women played an important part in the diplomatic strategies that advanced the sovereignty of their nation, work that was an extension of their position of authority in their families and clans. Chiefs and community members wore finely embroidered attire as a brilliant focus of ceremonial events, a tradition that continues today. Women artists also supported their community economically as their embroidery was a souvenir of choice for European collectors.
In vibrant illustrations, this book reconstructs the rich repertoire of Wendat embroidery now dispersed in collections throughout the world. Wendat Women’s Arts combines a depth of historical understanding with a keen knowledge of contemporary Wendat artists, demonstrating that the story of Wendat women is one of cultural strength, innovation, resilience, and success.
By Annette de Stecher240 pages
9 x 11 inches
McGill-Queen's University Press