Traditions of the Ancestors brings to life the wisdom, history, traditions, achievements, and stories of people and cultures from around the world. Here is where we connect people to cultural artists who can share their work and their culture in a healthy and respectful way.
18″ Rawhide Drum
Joe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr. is the son of Joe Sr. and Faye Seymour. Joe was born in Albuquerque, NM. He was formally trained as a commercial diver at the Diver’s Institute of Technology in Seattle, WA, in 2002.
Joe’s ancestral name, wahalatsu?, was given to him by his family in 2003. “wahalatsu? was the name of my great grandfather William Bagley.”
Joe started his artistic career by carving his first paddle for the 2003 Tribal Journey to Tulalip. Also in 2003, he carved his first bentwood box. After the Tulalip journey, he then learned how to stretch and make drums.
In October, 2005, Joe attended the Preston Singletary residence at the Longhouse at The Evergreen State College. “It was a very exciting experience for me to be a part of that residence. There were so many wonderful artists that helped to develop a lot of great ideas. The creativity and spirit associated in that time was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t until that time that I decided to dedicate my life to creating art.”
Joe has been a participant in the PIKO 2007 Gathering of Indigenous Visual Artists in Waimea, HI; the Te Tihi 4th Gathering of Indigenous Visual Artists in Rotorua, New Zealand in 2010; and the Tears of Duk’Whibahl Indigenous Artists Gathering in Olympia, WA in 2017.
“In my career, I’ve worked with glass, photography, Salish wool weaving, prints, wood, and rawhide drums. I’ve been very fortunate to have a community of artists that I’m able to work with and that are very supportive of my career. If it were not for their caring and sharing of ideas, I would not be the artist that I am today.”
“I hope that as I continue in my artistic career, I can pass on the teachings and nurturing spirit that have been shown to me.”
Joe has been a participating artist in the 2007, 2008, and 2010 “In the Spirit” art shows, facilitated through the Longhouse and the Washington State History Museum. His work can be seen in the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, The Burke Museum, Seattle, Washington, Squaxin Museum, Learning and Resource Center in Shelton, Washington, and the Hilo Art Museum, in Hilo, Hawai’i.
Joe has been the recipient of the 2008 Native Arts grant from the Potlatch Fund, located in Seattle, WA. He has also been a recipient of the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2018 National Native Creative Development Program grant from the Longhouse at Evergreen State College, located in Olympia, WA. He has also been a recipient of the 2011 Visual Art Program grant from the National Museum for the American Indian.
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Connecting through shared cultural threads is the most powerful way to understand and empathize with your fellow human beings because it allows you to see them not as the assumptions and stereotypes that you have unconsciously internalized. But instead, as people, just like you.
We began this project with a vision to provide accurate and comprehensive cultural information in one easy-to-use website.
In our cultural research across the internet, we found that much information was inaccurate, disperse, and not easily searchable. Many credible sites and articles from scholars and experts were inaccessible to the general public.
TOTA is partnering with cultural organizations and experts to offer the broadest range of accurate and detailed cultural information to the general public and academics. We believe that such content will enrich our understanding of ourselves and our neighbors both local and global.
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Culture influences us all, from how we lead our daily lives to how we view ourselves, our families, and the world. In our own studies, it became clear to us that nearly all cultures share the same fundamental wisdom. It is our intent to present these similarities, as well as our differences, side-by-side to expand people’s understanding of their cultural identity and that of all peoples.
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