Color of Conflicting Values

Shan Goshorn
Approximately 14” X 14” X 13”
Arches watercolor paper printed with archival inks, acrylic paint, gold foil

Using the traditional Cherokee double-weave technique, this basket’s interior was woven from reproductions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The applied gold foil represents how the discovery of gold accelerated the process of Cherokee removal. The exterior imagery combines the forest vegetation of the mountainous Cherokee homeland with a painting by the artist of a $20 bill. This basket comments on the conflict of American values; Indian people place their connection to their ancestral motherland above everything else while the dominant white culture idolizes the almighty dollar.

Andrew Jackson has a special place in Cherokee history. Before Jackson became president, a Cherokee warrior saved his life at The Battle of Horseshoe Bend and Jackson swore eternal loyalty to “his Indian brothers”. However, once elected president, it was Jackson who overruled Justice Marshall’s decision that the treaty used as the basis for removing the Cherokee from their homeland was unconstitutional. Using federal military strength, Jackson forced the Cherokee to leave the mountains and march to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Over 1/4 of Cherokee people died along the way from starvation, exhaustion, disease and heartbreak. That march is now called ‘The Trail of Tears’.

America thinks Jackson was a great leader and celebrates his accomplishments by placing him on our national currency. The Cherokee consider him to be a traitor of the worst kind.