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Southern Plains Indian Museum, Anadarko, Oklahoma

Katherine Dickerson

September 27 - November 14, 2009

"For me, construction of an item has certain guidelines to follow that are important to be identified as a tribal piece." -- Katherine Dickerson

Katherine Dickerson ArtKatherine "Kathy" Dickerson is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Kathy's inspiration is her family, many of whom are renowned master craftsmen. Her great-grandfather-Haungooah (Silverhorn) was a master illustrator and silversmith. Her grandfather, James Silverhorn, her uncles Dutch Silverhorn and Max Silverhorn, and cousin, Max Silverhorn Jr., are known for their silver work, beadwork, and feather work. Kathy grew up observing and hearing about the traditional Kiowa ways from her parents, Paul and Phyllis (Silverhorn) Calcaterra. She was encouraged by elders to create craftwork in the Kiowa tradition. Kathy is also the daughter of Frank Tongkeamha..

To create authentic Kiowa pieces, Kathy makes her own brain-tanned hides and rawhide and sews with sinew. Her knowledge of construction was acquired by studying historic pieces in museum collections. She learned about materials essential for creating ceremonial, as well as everyday items such as; tipis, clothing, footwear, bedding and cradleboards. She also learned that these items have stories to tell and a history to share. Kathy teaches her children and grandchildren about their heritage and about Kiowa history and culture.

Kathy's parents relocated to St. Louis in the 1950s under the Urban Indian Relocation Program. She lived the traditional Kiowa way in both the urban landscape of St. Louis and her tribal lands of Oklahoma. As a child, Kathy performed dance demonstrations for schools and organizations throughout St. Louis. Kathy continued her craft-work for herself and her family until 2000, when she was injured on the job as an iron worker. During her rehabilitation she dedicated herself full time to her craft work.

In 2002, she became involved in an attempt to revive interest in the Indian Center of St. Louis. When the Center closed in 2004, Kathy founded the American Indian Educational Resources of St. Louis, an organization of Indian artists and craftspeople whose mission is to educate the community about Indians past and present. Through her organization's work, Kathy quickly learned that the sale of fraudulent Indian craft-work was negatively impacting Indian craftspeople throughout the United States. To help address this problem within her community, she established lecture and demonstration opportunities for talented Indian craftspeople within the greater St. Louis area. In doing so, she also developed a keen interest in Indian Arts and Crafts Act issues.

Kathy's work is available by custom orders. Prices for custom orders may be obtained by contacting Katherine Dickerson at (314) 226-9883 or by email at Kathy@kiowakat.com

The Southern Plains Indian Museum is managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior. For hours of operation call 405-247-6221.

Katherine Dickerson Art
Men's Moccasins
Cheyenne/Sioux/Kiowa constructed
Brain-tanned smoked hide
Rawhide sole
©2009 Katherine Dickerson

Katherine Dickerson Art
German Silver Belt and Drag
©2005 Katherine Dickerson

Katherine Dickerson Art
Peyote Bag
Brain-tanned hide
Rolled fringe/yellow pigment paint
German silver center
©2005 Katherine Dickerson

Katherine Dickerson Art
Kiowa Women's Boots
Brain-tanned deer/sinew/rawhide soles
Yellow and green pigment paint
©2005 Katherine Dickerson

Katherine Dickerson Art
Kiowa Belt Bag
Tooling leather/sinew sewn/nickel button
©2004 Katherine Dickerson


Southern Plains Indian Museum Related Pages:

Click on one of the following to view information on the Southern Plains Indian Museum.

- Current Exhibitions
- Previous Exhibitions
- Locations, Hours of Operation, Admission Fees and Additional Information Page
- Rosemary Ellison Gallery
- Local Events




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- Sioux Indian Museum

- Museum of the Plains Indian

- Southern Plains Indian Museum

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Indian Arts and Crafts Board
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C. Street, N.W.
MS 2528-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Telephone: (202) 208-3773
Toll Free: (888) ART-FAKE
Fax: (202) 208-5196
E-mail: iacb@ios.doi.gov
Director: Meridith Z. Stanton