Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Tomah Joseph - Legendary American

"It has been said that art is the signature of a civilization. Like all signatures, it is unique and personal and binding. When a civilization vanishes, it is art that leaves an indelible imprint to tell the story of a people's existence and their eventual demise. Such is the story of Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy Indian artist who lived in eastern Maine during the mid- to late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like so many other stories of Native Americans, his is one in which cultural survival and economic necessity are inextricably and tragically linked." - Yankee Magazine, May/June 2007. This quote is about an extraordinary man named Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy man who during his seventy-seven years on Earth touched the lives of countless people, including a future President of the United States. Tomah Joseph was true to his Native Heritage throughout his life, keeping Passamaquoddy traditions forever alive through his amazing artwork and intricate craftsmanship on all things Native as well as the passing of Passamaquoddy oral history for untold generations after him to cherish for eternity. I urge you read the information at the links above to get a glimmer of the life and legacy that is Tomah Joseph, legendary American.

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