Textile and multi-disciplinary artist Kenny Glass of Cherokee Nation (born Tahlequah, OK 1988) captures stories from our contemporary moment. His work frequently joins traditional Cherokee designs with modern cultural aspects. This wool bag titled ᏕᏣᎵᎬᏚᎴᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏕᏣᎵᏴᏑᎴᏍᏗ was created in 2020 at the start of the still present global pandemic and highlights the tendency of some Cherokee artists to use their abilities to share messages reflecting their own beliefs.
The title of this work is also embroidered as syllabary text on the strap, which reads “Wear Your Mask.” Glass has adorned the body of the wool bag with the face of a wooden carved mask with a coiled snake sitting atop its head as well as a nose and mouth covering. The latter features the Cherokee Chief’s Heart basket weaving pattern. Glass expressed, “In this time of uncertainty, it is important that we wear our masks and take care of one another.”
The skill demonstrated in the embroidery, weaved pattern, beadwork, and overall conception of this wool bag by Glass lends to its impact both visually and symbolically.