Keri Ataumbi and Jamie Okuma’s Adornment: Iconic Perceptions

Meet the Artists of Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

Jewelry made of glass, beads, gold, silver, shells, pearls, and other materials.

Keri Ataumbi (Kiowa/Comanche)/Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock), Adornment: Iconic Perceptions, 2014, antique glass, 24-karat electroplated beads, buckskin, 18-karat yellow gold, sterling silver, wampum shell, freshwater pearls, rose and brilliant-cut diamonds and diamond beads, diamond briolettes, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of funds from The Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation, 2014.93.1-3a,b. Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art. © 2014 Keri Ataumbi and Jamie Okuma

Artist’s Language

Keri Ataumbi du’ahs Jamie Okuma nah’why seekah oh-yode huneen. Sookah Pocahantas neemah veechee’ah-you, sooduh Divo duvope navo-gund. Ah-vaysh, sooduh 1616, Simon van de Passe, du’ahs Thomas Sully 1852, Pocahantas nah-vooeyp zeepone. Sookah booey-gund, Okuma bee-gup-vah Pocahontas navooeyp duzzahccoon-wah. Ataumbi way-you, zahnd weehee,dimbay zoe-wone oo’vah du’ahs oo-hoy huneen. Zee-wike, see’duh-wuh, Pocahantas neemah vee-chee’ahn. Nuwuhnuh day-gwah-nee.


Keri Ataumbi and Jamie Okuma worked collaboratively to create an ensemble of wearable art in homage to Pocahontas, a major figure in American history. Drawing inspiration from 17th century engravings by Simon van de Passe and Thomas Sully’s classic 1852 painting, Okuma created beaded portraits on buckskin that were then adorned by Ataumbi’s use of precious metals and stones. Their work reimagines historical depictions of Pocahontas, paying tribute to an important Native American leader.