Rhiannon Skye Tafoya -Ul’nigid’

Artist Statement:

Ul’nigid’ is a poetic narrative and visual representation of memories about my maternal Grandmother; she was a medicine-woman, a basket-weaver, and a fluent speaker of the Cherokee language. Ul’nigid’ was uniquely designed to represent her being, and each of the writings within the book share themes of home, language, healing, love and lineage which are essential to Indigenous survivance. This was exponentially significant during the making of this book, because I was pregnant with my first child. Ul’nigid’ allowed organic story-sharing between my child and my grandmother, which highlights the importance of care-taking for future lineages while simultaneously honoring ancestors.

Materials & Technique

Letterpress printing with photopolymer plates, Bembo Italic metal type, & Cherokee Syllabary metal type. Cover: Handmade Paper, Interior: Colorplan, Weavings: Colorplan

Rhiannon Skye Tafoya

Skye Tafoya (b. 1989) is an Indigenous artist from the Eastern Band Cherokee and Santa Clara Pueblo tribes. Her heritage and lineage are significant components that are continuously present within her work. Skye has worked in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms ranging in sizes from hand-held to life-size. She creates work using serigraph and letterpress printmaking, and through paper-weaving, and bookmaking. Her work and designs are influenced by basketry and contain themes of cultural teachings, Cherokee language preservation, and personal and family narratives.