Sawol is a catalog for indigenous art. It focuses specifically on the cultures of Northern California. Within these pages you will find creation stories, history of each group, and pictures of the artists and their work. Take your time browsing and be sure and bookmark this location. We will always be adding new stories and artists.
We will take you into a different culture and a different era. These are stories and history that in some instances has all but been obliterated. The perspective of these cultures is very different from the current American traditions. The government has been oppressive concerning their institutions. At times their languages, religious rites, and customs have been outlawed. However, the current political climate is changing and programs have been instituted to reintroduce their verbal and written languages.
The cultural assimilation that has been enforced by the government has caused many of the groups to adopt modern standards for housing, clothing and other areas. So when you view the reservations they look like many other small towns in the US.
It is when you get close enough to their culture that you see the differences. Although many groups have adapted quite well to our society and involve themselves in many commercial and industrial projects, it is through their art that their culture is reflected back to us. It is through their art that they attempt to forge an identity to their past and their forefathers.
We currently focus on the groups of Northern California; however,
this area will expand to incorporate other groups throughout North America.