Flagbearer, 2022. Stoneware and glaze, approx. 12 ft. tall. Photo: Jason Mandella, Courtesy the artist and Ross+Kramer Gallery, New York

Object Lessons: Raven Halfmoon

The Caddo Confederacy was formerly located in a vast area centered around the great bend of the Red River, which is the modern-day boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Within the Tribe, the Caddo women traditionally held great prominence, managing agricultural elements of the villages, including crop production, and producing the beautiful and popular Caddo pottery vessels, as well as many other important duties. I am a citizen of the Caddo Nation, now headquartered in Oklahoma, and I descend from that line of powerful Caddo women, as well as other strong women, including my great-grandmother, my grandmothers on my maternal and paternal sides, and my mother and aunts. These women have always been role models and positive influences in my life. Flagbearer honors them, and all Native women who have carried humanity on their backs with their love and support. They bear the flags of our cultures and our futures. Without women re-creating life, without women nurturing children, families, and cultures, none of us would be here. Flagbearer is that powerful female—she is Indigenous, she is strength, she is our future and our past. She is the mother of our Nations.

“Raven Halfmoon: Flags of Our Mothers” is on view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, through January 7, 2024.