In the Ancestral Women Exhibit, award-winning jacquard weaver Mary Burns honors women’s journeys by creating their portraits in jacquard weavings. The Ancestral Women project was conceived to portray the strength of ancestral women around the world, both elders and their contemporaries, and to honor their journeys. The first phase of this larger project features women elders from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native American tribes, 11 of which are federally recognized, and one, the Brothertown Nation, which is seeking federal status. Mary is also weaving six clan pieces for the exhibit (bear, loon, eagle, marten, crane, turtle) and four landscape pieces that illustrate essential cultural practices (maple sugaring, harvesting wild rice, building a birch bark canoe, and a piece showing a rising sun over a lake that symbolizes a new day).
The exhibit first opened to the public in Wausau at the Center for Visual Arts on 9/23/17, and again on 6/7/17 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, WI.