Northern Cheyenne Native American (1844 – 1879) Buffalo Calf Road Woman is documented as having fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn. There she fought alongside her husband Black Coyote. In June 2005, the Northern Cheyenne broke their more than 100 years of silence about the battle. In a public recounting of Cheyenne oral history of the battle, tribal storytellers spoke of how it was Buffalo Calf Road Woman who had struck the blow that knocked Custer off his horse before he died in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
22" (+22" descending threads) x12"x4" Encaustic, Deconstructed Fast Fashion Clothing, Thread, Wire, Tree Twig, Hand and Machine Stitch by Sheary Clough Suiter
This installation of six two-sided suspended sculptures created from deconstructed fast fashion clothing conceptualizes secret-keeping from personal, social, and historical perspectives.
On a personal level, often without our own awareness, we pocket away cultural and personal identities from ourselves and others, disguises prompted by the Clothes We Wear.
Historically, women who have contributed substantially to humanity's advancements in the sciences and in the arts have been systematically secreted away, absent from our HIStory books. Each Pocket-Keep gives honor to a noteworthy woman whose place in history is little known.
The Pocket-Keeps also give reference to the 17th century apron-ish pockets women wore under their voluminous skirts, a make-do approach to a cultural bias that provided built-in pockets in men's clothing, but not in women's. This subtle yet unrelenting form of sexism continues to this day as fashion designers include a plethora of inadequate, or complete lack of, pockets in woman’s clothing.