Indigenous artist exhibits royal portraits at Metal Museum

Morgan Asoyuf is an artist from the Ts’msyen Eagle Clan and she is originally from British Columbia, Canada. His work is in the Keeler Gallery of the Metal Museum.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Morgan Asoyuf is currently presenting an exhibition at the Metal Museum, entitled Tributaries: Royal Portraits. She is of the Ts’msyen Eagle Clan along the Ksyeen River in British Columbia, Canada.

Asoyuf’s work includes various jewelry, masks, crowns, and cloaks of responsibility (the belief that the most developed species are responsible for looking after all life in the galaxy). The photographs in this Royal Portraits exhibit were taken by Patrick Shannon and depict Indigenous activists, some of them wearing royal regalia (a distinction of royalty or power).

“Royal Portrait reinvents royal regalia and portraits to draw attention to the importance of the Aboriginal matriarch. In Ts’msyen culture, matriarchs hold a special position of high rank that can be both compared and contrasted with the Western concept of kingship.” or “high rank” is transmitted matrilineally and signifies the responsibility to care for one’s land and people.

“Today there is a lot of confusion and struggle in our communities to make these important decisions, especially regarding land,” reads a quote from Asoyuf herself, as noted on the website of the Metal Museum.

The exhibit consists of jewelry and photography on Indigenous art and culture, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest.

This exhibition is presented at the Metal Museum until September 25th.

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Julia P. Cluff