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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 11, 2001 - Issue 42


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L. Frank Manriquez



L. Frank Manriquez is a Tongva/Ajachmem artist and cultural activist. Dedicated to the revival and preservation of Native California languages and cultures, she works with such organizations as the California Indian Basket Weavers Association, the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, The Children of Tamaayawut, and the Native California Network. She has directed and participated in numerous conferences and workshops in traditional arts and language studies, and devotes time to working with and teaching children.

These activities have brought her awards and grants from the American Association of University Women, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Lef Foundation. In 1994 she was awarded a special grant from the Fund for Folk Culture to travel to Paris to record and photograph the Native Californian art collection in the Musee de l'Homme. In 1995, she was featured as a "Local Hero" in the Native American Heritage Month series sponsored by KQED-TV and The Examiner.

L. Frank Manriquez is a mixed media artist, accomplished in stone carving, etching, painting, and drawing. Her art work has been exhibited at the Gorman Museum at UC Davis, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California State Indian Museum, American Indian Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, and Gallery One in Pt. Reyes. She was a previous Jesse Peter Museum Artist of the Month in 1992. Her work has also appeared in several publications. She has a regular column/graphic piece entitled "Acorn Soup" in the quarterly newsletter, News From Native California, and recently published a book by the same name, Acorn Soup, with Heyday Books.

In the forward to her book, Frank writes, "I grew up in southern California in the 50sI knew I was part Indian, but I always thought I was Apache. I think the more southern your tribe is in California, the harder it is to get a grip on your cultural heritage." This is the great historical blank spot that Frank is trying hard to fill with knowledge. "I strive to have my tribe's name out there because people don't know about us. It's an awful place to be. We have no written language."

In addition to her artistic work, Frank is an advocate for indigenous California languages. She works with professors at University of California, Berkeley piecing together the vestiges of an elusive tribal language. "We are trying to make the language come alive. We're adding new vocabulary from lists and archives that we have. We're breathing life into it."

L.Frank Manriquez Gallery

An Interview with L.Frank Manriquez

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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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