“We Are Still Here!”
Here stands Koshare, smiling, while he is releasing a hummingbird - the symbol of freedom. He has just taken off his mask used to protect and prevent Covid-19 from continuing the widespread pandemic. His mask has an eclipsed red handprint which covers his mouth and the red fingertips are present on his face. His right hand remains red from pasting the handprint in support of the movement Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (WWIM). His medicine bundle is scribbled with “215”; it is the number of undisclosed Native children's graves discovered in Kamloops, B.C. near the residential school operated by the Catholic Church. It was the first of such discoveries, and the number is located among the small dolls of the Koshari on his belt, which are symbols of blessings he has received.
The Koshare has a powerful role in healing and goodwill for the Native people. His unorthodox presence and manner are viewed as a clown to the stringent and mainstream society of western civilization but, to the indigenous, he is healing in the natural order of life. As such, he is us, he is me, and we are still here.
Daniel A. Walters
30" x 40" Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.
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