How Does Ellen Neel A Groundbreaking Native American

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Ellen Ka’Kasolas Neel: A Groundbreaking Native American Carver
Ellen “Ka’Kasolas” Neel was an influential Native American totem pole carver that helped pave the way for other female carvers in the world. When she was alive, women were looked down upon and weren't expected to have careers. Yet, she did not let that stop her and led on to become a renowned carver. Neel helped revive the dying artform of totem pole carving and managed to do so during a time of discrimination and financial struggles. She inspired many young people to follow her footsteps including her own children and grandchildren who also became successful carvers. Her legacy lives on because she taught us that no matter who you are, you can accomplish whatever …show more content…

She was not expected to have an education or, later on, a career. Nevertheless, her grandfather taught her to carve. There was a “...long history of women’s marginalization within the sphere of cultural production… Ellen Neel began pushing against these boundaries over ninety years ago when, aged twelve, she began carving” (Smetzer). Being a career woman was not acceptable whatsoever in her time period yet Neel became one anyway. She even dropped out of school to pursue her career and led on to carve for the rest of her life. She married Ted Neel in 1939 and had six children with him. “...she transformed the skills she learned… into a range of materials and forms that enabled her to raise her large family in an era of rampant discrimination” (David). Ellen Neel used her art to create a new life for herself and her family where anyone can do anything they set their mind to. Neel set an example for all those who were struggling because others thought less of them. She taught people to persevere and stick to their …show more content…

She managed to raise a big family of eight paying with only her artwork while also teaching/inspiring others to carve (Diattaart1). Ellen Neel worked hard to keep her large family fed. She did so by doing what brought her joy: carving. After all, it had always been her dream to one day become a prominent member of the artistic community. “If the art of my people is to take its rightful place beside other Canadian art, it must be a living medium of expression - Ellen Neel” (Cliffton and Lynn). She was committed to her dream and eventually opened her own studio where people could purchase her intricately carved pieces. Being a woman, especially a woman of Native American descent, she was not accepted as an artist by many people. Nevertheless, she didn't give up her life’s work and grew to be an extraordinary artist whose work is recognized across the

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