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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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David Dutcher and Marjorie "Maggie" Maracle
2016 master artist and apprentice Hessel (Mackinac County) and Sault Ste. Marie (Chippewa County)
Leather beaded moccasins

David Dutcher (b.1956) is a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and  an artist who works in multiple genres. He began making traditional Anishnabeg black ash baskets at age 9 with his father, Jon Roy Dutcher. David is skilled in a variety of different Eastern Woodland bead styles beyond those commonly employed by traditional Anishnabeg beadwork artists. Today, David maintains traditional Anishnabeg designs as well as developing contemporary Anishnabeg aesthetic patterns with materials traditionally used in Anishnabeg art. He incorporates custom appliqué beadwork into a variety of traditional and contemporary textile products from moccasins and breeches to laptop bags and purses. His custom stitched garments invoke colonial period aesthetics that draw viewers into sophisticated conversations on hegemonic aesthetic forms and counter-appropriation. David is at home in both these types of theoretical discussions of material culture history and in the specialized and challenging work of re-creating the materials. Many regional powwow dancers perform regularly in moccasins, jewelry, and clothing created and/or decorated by David. With hand tools, including some of his own design, he handcrafts copper jewelry.

In addition to his thriving dress and adornment art practice, David also provides a variety of arts and culture-related services for both his tribe and the community at-large. These include  direct collections care for many of the most delicate items in the collections of the Tower of History Museum’s (Sault Ste. Marie) most delicate items as well as providing information on appropriate and respectful storage practices and interpretive information for items ranging from snowshoes to ceremonial rattles. He has also been a professional hairstylist and has been enlisted by community art and theater organizations to help with hair and makeup for stage productions.

Marjorie “Maggie” Maracle (b.1956) is Mohawk and has lived in Sault Ste. Marie and has been actively promoting traditional Eastern Woodland Native Art through her store, Mahdezewin Woodland Native Art, in Sault Ste. Marie. She has worked with David for 20 years and co-taught courses with him in Native American a rt at Lake Superior State University . She began making various forms of traditional art as a child while living on a Mohawk reservation in rural New York, and has completed several appliqué beadwork projects including jewelry and clothing. During this apprenticeship her goal is to learn the finer points of constructing traditional Anishnabeg-style moccasins with the characteristic “puckered” toe seam.

-Nick Schaedig with MTAP Staff, 2016

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