Or How To Become Employable in One Easy Step
24" x 18"
For many First Nations men, part of their cultural and spiritual identity is "tied up" in their hair. Many Native people come to the city from the Reservations, hoping to find a better life. Instead, they are shunned, unable to get a job and end up on drugs and on the street.
For those who are not daunted and confused by the quiet racism of the city (and sometimes not so quiet), they will either make a way for themselves, or bend to the norms of the predominant Eurocentric culture.
Although the title of the piece is somewhat tongue in cheek, the reality is that Native Americans still find it difficult to be accepted into the society of their "conquerors".
This piece is a reminder to me of cutting off my braid to fit into the culture. At the time it was very sad for me, but today, I have found other ways to assert my identity, and I realize that my true spirit can never be taken away.