(WIVB) — A small flame burns an image of a turtle into a piece of wood that will later be made into an ornament representing the Turtle Clan of the Tuscarora Nation. It’s one of the many indigenous-themed art pieces created at Tuscarora Woodworks located on 5532 Walmore Road on the Tuscarora Nation Reservation.
“We’re located here on the Tuscarora Nation, which is sovereign territory, it’s not part of New York State or the United States. But even so, everyone is welcomed out here, everyone is welcomed to come to Tuscarora Woodworks. We hold art classes regularly, mostly weekly. We’re going to expand that into woodworking classes,” said Robert D’Alimonte co-owner of Tuscarora Woodworks and artist.
Tuscarora Woodworks features indigenous-themed art pieces and jewelry made from many different materials like wood, beads, acrylic and deer antlers. The beadwork used in the jewelry is a skill that’s been passed down to generations.
“My grandma gifted me a 100-year-old beadwork that I have hanging on the wall here,” said Murisa Printup,co-owner of Tuscarora Woodworks and artist. “So I feel it’s important for the Tuscarora people to carry on that tradition.”
Customers won’t just walk away with indigenous-themed artwork, they’ll come away with a greater understanding of the issues currently facing the Tuscaroras and other indigenous nations.
“We’re not shy about talking about these important issues, like the residential boarding school issues, the missing and murdered indigenous women issues, many of the social ills that affect our people like alcoholism and suicide, poverty,” said D’Alimonte. “So, we talk about all those things with a willing participant. When people come to our shop we’re happy to educate them in ways the US education system has not always done.”
For more information on Tuscarora Woodworks visit click here.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.