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“We need to be in charge of our own art. We need to determine what the parameters are. This is the manifesto. This is the beginning of a long conversation.” – Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, in a 2019 interview at the Nasher Museum.

The Nasher Museum community mourns the loss of Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, who was an associate professor in the department of American Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She died on August 8, 2020, from leukemia.

Tone-Pah-Hote was a respected Indigenous scholar (Kiowa) whose courses reflected her interdisciplinary interests in American Indian cultural and political history. She visited the Nasher Museum in 2019 and generously gave her time to support Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, the first exhibition to chart the development of contemporary Indigenous art in the United States and Canada. Listen to the podcast episode featuring Jenny speaking about the importance of Oscar Howe’s seminal work Dance of the Heyoka in the exhibition.

Her book, Crafting an Indigenous Nation: Kiowa Expressive Culture in the Progressive Era (UNC Press, 2019) examines her rich ancestral history and how the Kiowa nation have used their culture to “confront external pressures, express national identity and wrestle with changing gender roles and representations.”

In lieu of flowers, Jenny’s family requests contributions to her son Steven’s trust fund, and also suggests the purchase of her book.

 

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