Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

Masked Heroes: Award Winners

  • Howard La Fortune
    Howard La Fortune (Tsawout First Nation), "Bear Snout," yellow cedar and leather, hand-carved, sanded inside and front, hollowed by hand with curved knife. Photo: Sydney Woodward.
  • Leith Mahkewa
    Leith Mahkewa (Oneida Nation of the Thames), "I Am Protecting You from Me," raised Iroquois beadwork and edging in various sizes seed beads on black cotton velvet lined with cotton calico material. Second Place. Judge’s Choice: Stephanie Pratt, Jackie Sevier.
  • "Quill Bill" William M. Mendoza
    William M. Mendoza (Oglala Lakota/Sicangu Lakota), "Dentalium and Quilled Mask," quillwork, Dentalium, braintanned leather. Mendoza creates high-quality Northern Plains quillwork and beadwork and pursuing a doctoral degree in Education Leadership at Montana State University. Third Place. Judge’s Choice: Heather Cox.
  • Lily Hope
    Lily Hope (Tlingit), "Chilkat Protector," thigh-spun merino and cedar bark warp, merino weft yarns, tin cones, ermine fur. Finger-twined and three-strand braids on an upright frame, with tension controlled by fingers/hands only. ... That’s what art means. It means our teachers don’t die. It means the spirit of all things lives on in us, in our art. We have a responsibility to honor and carry on the teachings, to keep creating, to share our version of spirit with others, so when we pass, we’ve left the world more beautiful, through our weavings and through a joyful spirit.
  • Robbie Atabaigi
    Robbie Atabaigi (Absentee Shawnee), "COVID-19 Mask—USA," hand-beaded mask, 100% cotton hand-sewn mask, with elastic loops, 8 × 5 in., using a traditional First American style of seed beading to express unity at this point in history. Judge’s Choice: Michole Eldred, Jo Ann Reece
  • Anita Fields
    Anita Fields (Osage/Muscogee), "All My Heroes Wear Ribbon Work," taffeta ribbons, thread, yarn, beads, brass bells, metal sequins, plastic pill pouch, photo images printed on silk, and embroidery thread. Techniques include snip-and-turn ribbonwork techniques, sewing, and four-ply braiding with beads. Judge’s Choice: Staci Golar, Jami Powell
  • Pilar Agoyo
    Pilar Agoyo (Ohkay Owingeh/Cochiti/Kewa Pueblos), "Protection," cotton ripstop, printed cotton, plastic spikes, white grosgrain ribbon. Judge’s Choice: Kelly Church
  • Dolores Gull and Faith Chookomolin
    Dolores Gull (Weenusk First Nation, Cree) and Faith Chookomolin (Weenusk First Nation, Cree), "I See You," floral beadwork mask on hide. Capturing a moment that you are important, too. Judge’s Choice: America Meredith
  • Carrie Hill
    Carrie Hill (Akwesasne Mohawk), "#COVIDCreation," black ash splints, braided sweetgrass, love.... Judge’s Choice: Linda Lomahaftewa.
  • Yvonne Jolley
    Yvonne Jolley (Yurok), "Yurok Friendship Design," 100% cotton batik fabric, pieced together. Judge’s Choice: Michelle J. Lanteri
  • Shayai Lucero
    Shayai Lucero (Acoma/Laguna), "Breath of Life," Medical face mask covered with dried juniper leaves and accented with genuine turquoise stones, lily grass ties accented with abalone shells. In my Pueblos, juniper (Keres: k’aani), an important medicinal plant, is one of my favorites. I have studied medicinal plants since I was 13 years old. I wanted to create a piece that integrates my skills as a floral designer/artist and medicinal plant healer. Judge’s Choice: Samonia Byford
  • Linda Lou Metoxen
    Linda Lou Metoxen (Navajo), "Saving Lives While Saving the Planet," recycled plastic containers and components, fabric, and sewing notions. All of the things I used were already in the house; I just had to look for anything I could use. I wanted to focus on recycling, reuse, and repurposing. Judge’s Choice: Emily Haozous.
  • Katrina Mitten
    Katrina Mitten (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), "You May Not Kiss The Bride," white flannel duckbill-style mask with cotton binding. Organza pouf flowers individually made and sewn down with crystal bead centers. Gold fabric feathers added as accent. Judge’s Choice: heather ahtone
  • Marlana Thompson
    Marlana Thompson (Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne), "Ononkwashon:a / Medicinal Plants," black velveteen, red flannel. White pine, cedar and strawberries beaded in 11° Czechs. Model, hair and makeup: Teionrasharens Cook Thompson ( my daughter). "Ononhkwashon:a / Medicine Plants" is my way of giving thanks to the medicine plants that Creator has given us for healing. Judge’s Choice: Stacy Pratt
  • Serene Weasel Traveller
    Serene Weasel Traveller (Piikani Nation), "Face Mask Quilt," quilt, 175 face masks, made with 100% cotton, 57 × 76 inches. The Face Mask Quilt was created as a symbol to give comfort and protection to all Indigenous communities during these uncertain times. These face masks are quilted together as an illustration and record of the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Judge’s Choice: Candice Byrd
  • Crystal Worl
    Crystal Worl (Tlingit/Athabascan/Yupik), "Beaded Seal Fur," glass beads, seal fur, skin-sewing by hand, bead by hand. Seal harvested by the artist in Juneau Alaska. Judge’s Choice: Andrea Ferber.

Best of Show

  • Howard La Fortune (Tsawout First Nation), Bear Snout

Second Place

Third Place

Judge’s Choice



  1. Is this going to be published in the magazine? Or anywhere? I’d like to be able to thumb through pics of them.

  2. pereta rodriguez on

    Inspirational. How to Change a Negative into a Positive. Congratulations to all the participants and many Blessings. Dr. Pereta Rodriguez,Volunteer NMAI, NYC

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