Teri Greeves (b. 1970) is a member of the Kiowa Native American tribe, and her culture deeply influences her work. Khoiye-Goo Mah (2004) translates in the Kiowa language as “Kiowa women,” and four Kiowa women are depicted on these sneakers: the artist’s grandmother and mother, both skillful bead workers who taught artist this traditional craft,; her aunt, the first female fancy war dancer in the state of Oklahoma, and spiritual woman, who had the honor of naming the artist.
Artist LJ Roberts offers the following input on the piece: “Converse hi-tops have long been a part of my everyday life. I’ve modified them as a means of personal expression, and for years they have been the surface on which I move and travel. Khoiye-GoodMah integrates matrilineal skill sharing, craft, movement, and Independence. To converse it to communicate, and to also reverse or revert; Greeves’ artwork does this in rich and complex layers.”
Photographed in the Museum of Ats and Design in Manhattan
These boots combine the traditional technique of beadwork with modern fashion in an entirely contemporary way. To create them, artist Teri Greeves (Kiowa, Native American, born 1970), elaborately embellished the pair of high-heeled sneakers designed by Steve Madden with imagery significant to the Great Lakes tribes.
One side shows the tribes’ designs and the other, contemporary jingle-dress dancers who perform at powwows. Greeves’ innovative work connects her with the long tradition of female beadwork artists who fulfilled this important role within their culture.