Gerald Dawavendewa

Gerald Dawavendewa

Gerald (Hopi & Cherokee) grew up in the Hopi village of Munqapi in northern Arizona and the Cherokee woods on Oklahoma. He attended the University of Arizona (UA) where he received a bachelor degree in Fine Arts. Some of his previous work includes the Arizona State Museum where he was an exhibit specialist and assisted with the development and construction of a exhibit entitled "Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest". In addition Gerald was commissioned to create a mural depicting the Hopi world that is a permanent part of the Museum's collection. 

Other experience includes an internship with the National Museum of American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C; consultant to various museums across the country; and guest lecturer at schools, universities, and community colleges.

Gerald's artwork includes "Earth Bundle" that was sent aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor launched in 1994. He also designed a mural measuring seven feet high by eighty-five feet long depicting Tucson's cultural heritage. The mural was painted by members of the Tucson Artist Group. Dawavendewa is also Author and Illustrator of a children's book entitled "The Butterfly Dance" this project was in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute NMAI. Gerald's latest work is a series of 48 metal panels containing native imagery forming the main staircase for the UA Memorial Student Union Bookstore. 

Through his artwork Gerald hopes to share his culture, educate the public about the rich heritage of his native tribes and promote a greater understanding of the native world.

The Butterfly Dance

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Third in the acclaimed Tales of the People series, this tale of a young girl's first Butterfly Dance captures the spirit of the Hopi culture.

With its bright, stylized illustrations and distinctive Native voice, this appealing book gives a vivid sense of stepping into another culture. It chronicles one important day seen through the eyes of a young Hopi girl named Sihumana, or "Flower Maiden," who is a member of the Rabbit Clan and winningly portrayed as a rabbit. After going with her grandfather to greet the sun and bless the day, Sihumana travels with family to another village to take part in the traditional Butterfly Dance, performed late each summer in order to bring rain to the dry lands of the Southwest. The tale ends happily with the sound of rain on the roof and the promise of butterflies in the days to come.

Created with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Tales of the People is a series of children's books celebrating Native American culture with illustrations and stories by Indian artists and writers. In addition to the tales themselves, each book also offers four pages filled with information and photographs exploring various aspects of Native culture, including a glossary of words in different Indian languages.

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