September 7th, 2015 Last Updated on: January 19th, 2022
One of the (I think) most beautiful traits in our modern Native culture has been the emerging of artists. Through social media and Internet, we have been able to connect with Rap artists weaving images through their words, as well as singers and dancers from all over our nation. One artist I discovered is Timoteo Ikoshy Montoya, or just “Ikoshy” as he signs on his artwork. Ikoshy is Lipan Apache and originally from Texas, but currently lives in Yankee Hill CA. When I saw his artwork, I asked him to take some time and explain to me the meaning of each piece and where his inspiration for his works came from. Please enjoy the walk through this artist's experiences that brought him to his pieces.
“All of the images are a history of sorts, of some of the moments I experienced in my life so far. Either of ceremonial influence or conversations I had with some Elder, or a book project I was involved in.”
(Connections in High Places)
“The painting I did called “Connections In High Places” Was one that came out of a Native American Church Ceremony I went to a few years back. It was held for New Years. During the ceremony they have a time at midnite when they bring a bucket of water in. The fireman(keeper), is given a corn shuck and tobacco. He rolls a Prayer smoke. He uses this to pray over the water, for the purpose of the ceremony as well as other things that may concern him. Afterwards the blessed water is sent around and others drink it and share the blessing. Once the bucket goes out, the “Roadman”(leader of the ceremony) goes out to pray to the four directions, starting with the east. He takes an Eagle feather fan, and an eagle bone whistle. There are four songs sung. Each song he goes to another cardinal point, clockwise, and prays to that direction. He prays for the purpose and everything on this earth as well as his own concerns. It was during this time that we are all inside listening to the music and praying with him. So I was doing that and he blew that whistle the first time. Then found myself outside, (this has happened a few times with me). I could see him standing in front of the tipi. He was praying. I could see the shadows of the people in the tipi and the sparks coming up through the smokehole. When I looked to see where we were, it was all clouds and we were in the heavens. The Cloud Spirits would come out and look at us. It was if they were curious as to why we were there. Quite a few of them came and then turned back into the clouds. The Roadman blew the whistle one more time, this time these long tall Eagle Feathers came up quietly from the floor of the clouds. He just sttod there looking up at them, fanning himself. then it went away. I was back at my place in the tipi. From some reason I thought of the phrase “Connections In High places”, Yeah, like really, I thought.”
“I was inspired to do this piece because of the words, “Discover America”. There have been many times as I was growing up that I heard these words used in one way or another. As I became more and more involved with the sprirtual aspect of just everyday living, these words became more of an invitation to discover the spirit of the land. To become to understand it as more than a thing that you see, but a spiritual relationship that grows with the love of this land. Another influence on this and a few other pieces was by an artist named Maxfield Parish. I love his work and did a few pieces with his use of color and shading in mind.”
If you wish to see more of Ikoshy's beautiful pieces of work, please check out his website. www.ikoshy.com
Home » Native American Articles » Native American Art »