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Raymond Moose Type: Bronze
Sculpture Dimensions: 29.5 x 12.5 x 10 inches
Signature: Skarure R. Moose
Tuscarora (Skarure)

About the Artist

Raymond Moose is a self-educated sculptor, living in the piedmont of North Carolina. His artistic life has had four major influences that have inspired him this lifetime. His young and formative years were spent in the woods on a nineteenth century farm in the twentieth century. He traveled while in the service and was especially influenced by his time spent in Japan. This broadening of his horizons and opening of his mind and consciousness was a great turning point for him, and delivered him back to North Carolina with a different a perspective. He was introduced as a young man to eastern Mysticism and the belief systems that fit readily into the feelings that he had experienced in nature. Later, he became friends with several Native Americans and was exposed to their beliefs which led to inspiration for future art works. When he settled down to make a living in the world, he returned to his roots in nature to make a life. It was when he began to work in stone masonry and carving that a light came on to illuminate the path to art. He was exposed to beauty and truth as a pre-requisite for creating art. Art lead him to art. He has been fortunate to know many very accomplished artists whose work and friendship have been a major inspiration. The kinship between his early life close to the earth and nature as well as the experience and study of alternative approaches to religion and consciousness, created for him life patterns that have profoundly affected his work. What debts we owe to nature. He began to study western sculpture and the old world bronze casting techniques. In 1990, he built a small foundry. In 1993 he was awarded the “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emerging Artist” grant, which afforded him the opportunity to create an early Cherokee bronze bust. This was the beginning of his professional career as a sculptor.

About the Work

This bronze statue represents a Chief of the colonial era Tuscaroras, a once dominant tribe in eastern North Carolina. The live model used for this sculpture is a Chief of the Tuscaroras, who resides on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York. The Tuscarora occupied a sizable territory along the Roanoke, Neuse, Tar and Pamlico Rivers in Eastern North Carolina. They called themselves Skarure (hemp gatherer) because of their skill at creating useful and artistic items from the strong fiber. Their reactions to European encroachment resulted in the Tuscarora wars of 1712-1713. After the wars, the Tuscarora moved north to join their Iroquois brother, where their descendants live today. Describing the statue, we see a feather and copper pendant headdress, the front containing an ornament made from the hemp fiber. Underneath the red wolf fur cloak is a European trade blanket. The necklace arrangement is made from Marginella shell and a conch shell inscribed with a medicine cross of the four directions. The skin of the corn snake was fashioned into a belt and draped across his shoulder and chest, allowing him to carry his medicine bag or other necessities.

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