This quill-decorated birch bark box with sweet grass binding is a recent work by Odawa artist Yvonne M. Walker Keshick. Born in Charlevoix, Michigan, in 1946, the artist spent eight years in a Native American boarding school. In her 20s, Walker Keshick learned quilling from her aunt, Anna Ode’min, and her friend Susan Kiogima Shagonaby. In turn, Walker Keshick passed down the tradition of quillwork to her sons Arnold and Chris Walker and Jacob Keshick, and her daughter, Odemin. In 2006, the U-M Museum of Natural History purchased this basket at Indian Hills Gallery in Petoskey, Michigan, and a year later transferred it to the UMMAA. Walker Keshick has won many awards for her work, including a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2014 and the Michigan Heritage Award in 1992. One of her quillwork bracelets is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Walker Keshick continues to make quill art and teach workshops throughout Michigan.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.