For FAH-103, Survey of Pre-Columbian and Native American Art, Professor Yvonne K. Widenor and Mary Williams ’18, coordinated a unique learning opportunity for the class. Mary is a member of the Seneca culture and asked her uncle, Norman Jimerson, a member of the Deer Clan and Onondaga group and cultural speaker, to speak to the class about the practices of the Seneca and Onondaga members of the Haudenosaunee. Mary related that male members of the Seneca group earn the privilege of speaking about their culture.
After a number of emails back and forth, Jimerson visited the class on December 8 and presented information about an array of cultural practices and brought exceptional cultural objects to discuss. Notable objects included a water drum and rattles which were used to perform traditional songs with the students’ assistance, his personal lacrosse stick, examples of wampum, snow snakes and corn husk decorations created by his friend, Esther Williams.
At the end of the presentation, Jimerson kindly presented Widenor with a rattle with Onondaga colors and requested that she keep the music going. Widenor is indebted to Mary for facilitating this tremendously powerful learning experience.
Photograph: Jimerson is photographed with Taija Crawford ’16, a student who participated in the music performance.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, associate vice president, academic affairs