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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards

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James Anderson and Christian Horendo
2013 master artist and apprentice
Gladwin & Holbrook, NY and Gladwin (Gladwin County)
stone carving

James Anderson is of the Iroquois Confederacy and an Ojibwe descendant with ties to the Cherokees.  He is very active throughout Michigan in making presentations in schools and to the general public about Anishinaabek life and he takes a special interest in mobilizing disenfranchised urban Anishinaabek into coalitions. James’ grandfather, a full-blooded Iroquois, was instructed in the teachings of the pipe. James spent most of his adolescence with his grandfather and his Anishinaabe grandmother. They taught him songs and prayers, and about healing, herbal medicine, and ceremonies. James also learned to carve stone and wood under the direction of his grandfather. He credits his grandparents for teaching him the Native ways and finding a balance in both worlds. James has continued to study native spirituality with several elders and, with their permission, has since performed pipe ceremonies for many families and local organizations. He often serves as a color guard at pow wows. 

James has now become a teacher and is passing on his skills and knowledge to others. Through Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program grants in 2000 and 2004, he taught stone carving to Patricia Shackleton. In 2012 James took on his grandson, Christian Horendo, as an apprentice in stone carving. Christian, a descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, lives most of the year in Holbrook, New York, but spends summers with his grandfather, with whom he attends tribal community events and participates in traditional celebrations. In 2013, James and Christian received a Michigan Traditional Apprenticeship Award to continue their work together in stone carving.

-Lynne Swanson

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