From: Keith A. Jamieson, Mohawk, Six Nations of the Grand River, September, 2008
These two quotes are from the keynote address I delivered at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, March 5th, 2007, on opening the “Between Worlds” exhibit, which featured the portraits of the “Four Kings”, four Mohawk emissaries to the Court of Queen Anne, 1710.
The first quote was informed by my reading of Jorge Larraine’s “Ideology and Cultural Identity”, 1984, and the second quote came from Paul Wallace’s book, “The White Roots of Peace”, 1940’s, and he attributed it to an anonymous Haudenosaunee/Iroquois speaker.
“For me, a cultural identity is as much a matter of becoming as it is of being. It belongs to the future as much as it does to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, they have histories. But like everything which is historical, they undergo transformation, they are not (static) fixed in the past. They are subject to the continuous play of history, culture and power. Far from being grounded in a mere recovery of the past waiting to be found, identities are the names we give to the different ways we position ourselves within, and are positioned by the narratives of the past.”
“Ours is not a thing of paint and feathers, it is a thing of the heart.”