Amidst the sea of countless treasures to be admired at Santa Fe Indian Market, there are always a few that linger fresh on the shore of the mind’s eye long after the visual encounter has been poured into the sands of memory.
One such work is a Miloshka Spirit Doll by Eric Sekatau (Narragansett). The figure’s lifelike eyes seemed to take in the Edge preview with the rest of us. Cast in bisque, the doll’s face and hands are flawlessly smooth and rendered in realistic (as in believable) features and tones, entirely devoid of caricature and sentimentality. Complete with elk-bone choker, holstered revolver, wool broadcloth jacket, and buckskin leggings, the figure is true to form in its authentic representation of the Crow (Apsáalooke) scout.
“The long fringe on the leggings was important,” explained Sekatau during an impromptu interview at the preview. “They brushed over where he had walked, covering his footsteps” to make his presence virtually undetectable. Standing almost two feet tall, Scout is evocative as both a representation of a hard truth component of Indian history and as a truly remarkable achievement of the artist’s hand.
I could swear I saw his weight shift as I stepped away from the artist’s display. And wasn’t he looking in the opposite direction just a moment ago?
—rmd for FAAM