Warm Springs artist works to preserve native place names
Jefferson "Isu" Greene, tribal member and artist of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, has recently completed a new piece which he has donated to the Museum at Warm Springs for permanent display.
The work, a large map of Central Oregon, placed on a tule mat canvas, harvested and woven by the artist, and painted with natural materials, measures 9 feet by 6 1/2 feet, is a combination of history and original namesakes of the region.
"After years of research left behind by Central Oregonians and Linguistic Anthropologists, I picked it up and began seeking out elders familiar with the place names of Central Oregon towns and beyond, so that I could ultimately place the names on (the map)," Greene wrote in an email.
"Many places of Central Oregon were named in the indigenous languages of the tribes of this region. Many cities opted to keep the names the tribes were already using while spelling them as best they could in the English language," he noted.
Greene's goal with the art piece itself, as well as donating it to the museum, is to "highlight Central Oregon culture and history."