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Over the years, I have seen many wonderful representations of The Three Sisters—as drawings, paintings, clay figures, stone sculptures, corn husk dolls and more. In thinking about how I might portray them, I noted that they are shown almost exclusively in traditional clothing. How could these ancient—yet eternal—characters be contemporized? The Three Sisters have resisted war, colonization, corporate greed, and insecticide. They can be considered as goddesses or warriors or both. I realized that they must be represented as society’s current version of these: superheroes.  

I customized three avatars to look like O:nenhste (Corn), Osahè:ta’ (Beans) and Onon’ónsera (Squash) and designed a superhero costume for each. I learned that some of the symbols often seen in our beadwork represented corn, beans and squash, and so I placed them prominently on the outfit. With the help of a graphic designer, I created patterns for them out of the shapes of their seeds and incorporated them into the costumes.  

In this original installation created specifically for the exhibition Pour Demain at the Musée de la civilisation, The Three Sisters leave the virtual realm to occupy the physical world. Their superhero costumes have been created out of fabric instead of pixels. As they strike a heroic pose, baskets placed around them are filled with bright replicas of their vegetables: corn, beans and squash, denoting an abundant harvest. Projected onto the curved wall around them is a machinima of a traditional three-sisters garden accompanied by an original soundtrack.  


A Day in The Life of The Three Sisters
3072 x 1200
6 min 30 secs
Music by Dioganhdih

Selected Installation Images