Langford modeling one of Deers dresses.
The Santa Fe Indian Market is the largest Native American art
market in the world and has been running for nearly 100 years. It
includes a prestigious juried art show that attracts as many as
150,000 visitors from many countries. At the most recent event,
a tribal employee and cultural teacher was on hand to sell some
of her self-made products.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal citizen Leslie Deer is the production
assistant at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center. She started making
apparel art for herself in 1990 and began producing items for others
six years later. She makes womens dresses, jumpsuits, skirts,
tops and suits. Additionally, she creates her own designs to print
on fabric to use for her garments.
My art is influenced by my Native culture and traditions,
my environment, my life experiences, and my upbringing in an urban
Native community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Deer said.
As for my heritage, its who I am so its infused
in everything I do. I have an affinity for curvilinear designs and
spirals. If you look at our Mvskoke art and the art of our ancestors
the Mound builder culture that is exactly what you
Deer who describes her garments as authentic heirlooms
and storytellers participated in the market for the first
time in more than a decade. She nearly sold out of her apparel art.
I feel like I was well-received. It was a very encouraging
opportunity and experience. I hope that people will envision themselves
wearing my art and take an interest in Southeastern Indian art.
Beyond that, I hope to inspire a younger generation in my
community to learn more about their culture, to sew, and imagine
themselves as designers.
For more information or to purchase these one-of-a-kind pieces
of wearable art, contact Deer at firstname.lastname@example.org