Posts Tagged ‘native people’

Fishing on the fossil rocks, 7/09

All along the Indiana bank at the Falls of the Ohio, fisherman were having success.  The water level had dropped and is approaching its summer pool.  Soon it will be possible to cross over and explore the world on the Kentucky side.  I can hear the high pitch sounds of the Eastern Kingbird and marvel at how fearless they are as they dive-bomb the vultures trying to catch thermals on their way up.  There’s plenty of food for scavengers, because the fishermen are wasteful.  When they leave there’s a feast waiting for them.

Stringer of fish, 7/09

This was the most impressive stringer of fish I saw today…but I wouldn’t want to eat any of them.  It’s advised that you avoid making a meal of the larger, older bottom dwelling fish in the river.  Although things are supposed to be getting better…there’s still toxins and metals that are present in their tissues.  The species on this stringer include:  a flathead catfish, freshwater drum, carp, and what I think are highfin carpsuckers on the left.  Methods being used include both natural baits (cut-up shad and chicken liver) as well as casting with artificial lures (florescent jigs).  I walked the bank picking up the odd item I could use and went and found my studio. 

native man, 7/09

native man, detail, 7/09

This is the figure that walked out of today’s  junk found on the riverbank.  The starting point was a broken hairbrush I pinned onto the head.  A butternut split in half forms the mouth and a plastic cap from an ink pen is the nose.  I created a cloak from a piece of flexible foam packing material I found nearby.  I associate this figure with the indigenous people that once  fished here for thousands of years…and could safely eat the fish!  Finding the sticks to give the arms and legs gesture took up most of the time in making this piece.  Even when you are standing on mountains of driftwood finding the right expressive stick can drive you crazy.  I also photographed plastic containers and other junk stranded by the retreating waters.  As someone reminded me recently, the native people lived here forever in a virtual paradise and in a little more than two hundred years we have trashed the place up pretty good.  Here’s an image that’s proof of that.  The drum is obvious, but the black sand you see is actually coal dust.

blue plastic drum, 7/09

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