Blind Tom, 2019.
Jacky Calanchini (Nisenan)
Watercolor.

These images of some of my relatives are duplicated from photographs during the early and mid 20th century.

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Nellie and Honeybee are both my grandmothers who I learned a lot from and who I miss very much. In this picture of cousin Tony he is a young solider in Hawaii. I couldn't help but to recognize bits of of his sons in the original photo. Tom is a relative I've never met. He was a speaker of our traditional language and knowledgeable about many traditional crafts and practices. He was blind. He was a basketweaver. Its documented that he passed away in 1913 still living at the site of Kadema village near present day Watt Ave. Tom was an informant of ethnographer CM Merriam who states that he was the most bashful person he's ever met. Because Tom was willing to speak bits of what he knew, I am able to understand a bit more about my heritage and for that I'm very grateful.

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