Native Soil:Assyrian-Native American Clay Project

Thanks for checking out our initiative! We are fundraising for the Native Soil Clay Project. This exciting trip is the first of its kind: we plan to bring together Indigenous people from opposite ends of the world to continue ancient clay harvesting methods. Come June of 2023, we will lead a group of Native American potters to the Assyrian-Iraqi villages of Bebedeh and Nahla, to initiate a cultural exchange between local Assyrians and Native Americans by creating timeless art alongside indigenous artists and potters together.

Renowned potter Clarence Cruz (Tewa from Ohkay Owingeh) will be holding workshops and meeting with the few Assyrians remaining who have continued the ancient practice of harvesting clay. It is critical that we work to preserve and pass down these Indigenous methods of clay harvesting to the next generation of knowledge-keepers so our communities can continue to use our land’s natural gifts with reverence.

By working side-by-side with clay harvested from our land, we will foster natural conversation between Indigenous peoples from across the globe – sharing stories, humor, songs, poetry, lessons and creativity that will create a trans-indigenous kinship. We know how hard we’ve had to fight to stay on our land. Revitalizing practices like clay harvesting can only deepen relationships with the physical land and generate a renewed dedication to preserving our presence on our Indigenous homelands. With that in mind, during the trip, we will also hold community workshops, teaching all to make small pieces out of local clay that they can display in their homes as a sort of amulet: a physical reminder of all the land holds and its importance to our people.

By donating to this project, you will be an integral part of cultural preservation for our communities by fostering the artistic solidarity of Indigenous peoples creating art out of our homeland. Thank you endlessly for your support - please let us know your thoughts/questions!

Donations (145)

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  • Edison Chalabi
    • $100 
    • 19 d
  • Kathy Lam
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • David and Laura Smolnicky
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
    • $435 
    • 6 mos
  • Kymn McGrath
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
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Sarah Bennett Kalleberg
Albuquerque, NM

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