Gloria D. credits the creativity of her art to the Native American people, their culture, and religion. For Gloria, born in 1954, art has been a way of life. She is a self-taught artist and historian who has learned her art through the elders of South Dakota where she lived for over 20 years.
Each creation is a part of a story recalling events and legends of the Plains Indian and expressing the beauty of Indian life. Working with a variety of media, Gloria maintains that vision is the key to making her art. If a person creates without a vision, she loses the pride of creation, and without pride, the piece is not a work of art but simply a craft item.
Gloria’s biggest inspiration comes from Chief Frank Fools Crow. It is in his memory that she dedicates her art and always remembering the words told to her from her adopted grandfather, “All honorable men are of the same tribe.”
Traditional Indian Art, by Gloria D.
There is a proud people whose horsemanship, cunning leadership, and colorful regalia captured the imagination of the world. They are the Sioux, Crow, Shoshoni, and Arapaho of the Great Plains of North America. They gave us many heroes—Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Black Elk, and many legends—The Black War Bonnet Society, the Bear Warrior Society, and Elk Dreamer, and the Ghost Dance.
They lived in harmony with nature. They believed in spiritual forces of the universe revealed in mystical visions. Their ferocity in combat, their ability as hunters and their proud struggle to survive have inspired generations of artists and writers.
In everything I offer I strive to be faithful to the original spirit and design of the finest artisan of the Northern Plains tribes. I use the same materials and techniques they did, except where it is no longer possible.
Each item is a currently created, unique artifact made by hand. I have antiqued most of the items for an attractive, older look. Because I vigorously insist upon authentic materials, some of which are in extremely limited supply, quantities are limited.
The information I provide with the artifacts is gathered from the oral history of the tribes. There are different versions of these stories depending upon the letter; in the Plains Indian culture, individuals had their own visions and walked a path that they alone charted according to their own experience and dreams. It is with deepest respect for these extraordinary people and their heritage that I make the craft.