Students viewed Native Art at LCC Centre Core March 25 as part of Native Awareness Week. Clarence Hoof was one of 12 Southern Alberta artists who displayed items for raffle, sale and/or interest.
Hoof has been doing art work for seven years. He makes dancers' costumes and headdresses in Blackfoot designs; also war shields, wall shields, key chain items and more.
His career started when he decided to beat his addiction to alcohol. He sought advice from an elder, who told Hoof to go to the top of Chief Mountain to seek answers.
"My talent came to me when I went to Chief Mountain. I went on a vision quest to overcome my addiction and to give me hope and freedom," says Hoof.
Hoof says he fasted for four days on the mountain top when the Spirit finally came to him.
Soon after, Hoof made his first project and sold it. Once he realized he could make money at making things, he decided to pursue a business doing it.
Now, Hoof says, he can finish more elaborate projects like headdresses within two weeks.
All items reflect Blackfoot culture and spirituality, which is important to Hoof. He says he learned his culture from the elders as he made things.
Hoof donated a war shield worth $1,300 as the first place prize for the U of L raffle.
Lillian Crow Chief, Hoof's wife, is president of the University of Lethbridge Native American Student Association (N.A.S.A.).
The table display included information and schedules for events during Native Awareness Week.
Prices on Hoof's art work range from $2.50 for keychain items to $4,000 for head dresses and costumes.
Another table featured Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Society that displayed artifacts from earlier times known as the "Dog Days".
The Dog Days was a time before horses, guns, iron or other metals were used by the Blackfoot, says Walter Crowshoe, guide supervisor for Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Crowshoe says the travelling display is used for educational purposes, in which he goes to schools and fairs.
The Aboriginal people of the Plains lived off the land and used natural resources to survive.
Items displayed ranged from arrowheads made from volcanic rock to a childŐs ball made from buffalo hide.
Other art and items on display included pottery, pinatas, bags, purses, cow skull night lights, blankets, mocassins, oil paintings, dolls, weasel pelts, T-shirts and jewlery.
Prices ranged from $1to $4,000.