"How We Should Live"



Candessa Tehee with ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ
Prep detail

Title: ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ (how we are supposed to live)

Wool and glass beads displayed on polycarbonate tube

Oblique fingerweaving completely done by hand (28' x 36")

ᎠᎦᏍᎦᏂ ᎠᎬᏱ, ᎠᎦᏘᏏ ᎣᏂ (L 1st, R last):

ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᏕᎦᏓᏰᎸᏎᏍᏗ (let's all hold the existence of others as sacred)

ᏂᏗᎥ ᏴᏫ ᏕᎩᏠᏯᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ (let's all include one another in all things)

ᏕᎦᏓᏅᎦᎳᏍᏍᎨᏍᏗ (let's all be pruning ourselves)

ᏕᎦᏓᏲᎯᏂᎨᏍᏗ (let's all reach as far as we can to hold hands with one another)

ᏕᎦᏓᏟᏴᏎᏍᏗ (let's all embrace one another no matter what)

ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎢᏗᏢ ᏕᎦᏓᏎᎮᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ (let's all guide one another in the right way)

ᏕᎦᏓᎨᏳᏎᏍᏗ (let's all value the existence of one another)

ᏗᎦᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙᎮᏍᏗ (let's all be visiting/finding one another)

ᏗᎦᏓᏂᎳᎨᎨᎮᏍᏗ ᏴᏫ ᎢᏕᎲᎢ (let's all serve guide and provide for one another like an elder or sibling)

ᏕᎦᏓᎸᏉᏕᏍᏗ (let's all like one another unconditionally)

ᏗᎦᏗᏤᎲᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᏄᏓᏅᏘᏳ ᏗᎦᏓᏅᏫᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ (let's all encourage one another in a kind and gentle way)

The four colors represent the four cardinal directions and beads are white because ᏣᎳᎩ ᎣᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ (our Cherokee language) leads us to the white path set forth for us by ᎤᏁᏝᏅᎯ (God) and these words should guide us wherever we are. The white weaving in the middle represents that path and the crystal beads show that path is long and may not be straight so we must be aware and follow it with diligence. It is easy to lose your way. There are 13 woven pieces to reflect the Cherokee lunar calendar as there was once a ceremony to mark each month in the lunar calendar.

These values have been passed down in our Cherokee communities for generations. Benny Smith tsigesv shared them in writing and ᏩᏕ ᎦᎵᏍᎨᏫ assisted me with selecting and proofreading syllabary in preparation for weaving.