The story behind why and
how I did it
The story behind
First People's Art
I started working on this project in 2009 and did a ton of research for a year or so. Then there was a lot of buzz about Cahokia so I thought I would let someone else take it on. At that time, I didn't have anywhere near the software I have now. Then 3 years ago, after I completed the documentary Painted in the Desert, I decided to give it a go. I thought it would take a year since I already had done so much research. Ha ha ha ha....
This is a fantasy, historical, fiction (histy-fic) based on my interpretation of the archaeological evidence available to me. I tried, as much as possible, to keep what I thought was the intent of the buildings. I did add a couple of buildings from the topography map and put in a couple secret items just for fun. Currently, there is no way archaeologists could make the leaps I make especially in concern to SN1054. I am trying to open up the discussion so any arguments against what I've done, are welcomed.
My intention is to celebrate this culture in the best way I can. I hope the joy and love of their architecture and culture comes through. Thanks for digging deeper by reading this. :D
The story behind why and how I did it.
Cahokia is located in Illinois officially but it actually carries over into Missouri. It was a giant complex that existed approximately 800 AD to 1400 AD. They officially state that it had up to 10,000 inhabitants but I'm thinking higher. Cahokia is one of many, many cities up and down the Mississippi River and was in direct contact with all of, what we now call, the Americas.
There is a strong discussion that Europeans brought disease (unintentionally) before Columbus and wiped out 50 to 70% of the population of indigenous peoples. Since Cahokia was a MAJOR city and trading area, they would have been hit hard without ever even seeing a white person. I have based most of this on that assumption.
There are over 100 buildings designated in downtown Cahokia alone. This was a great civilization that extended throughout all of what is currently known as the Americas. There have been influences and trade by way of shells, copper and artwork styles and can be seen in the many artifacts.
The locations have been investigated but unfortunately, with much disregard. Downtown Cahokia has been looted and developed and has even had an interstate put through the middle. East St. Louis is built over the top of an outlying Cahokian town or village. I can't tell you how many times I've been angry over the treatment of the site and the people of that area. The racism is rampant, in the early years especially. This is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the US and most people have a very light understanding of it. This is my humble attempt to change that.
MK Barr - 5 creatives Studio
The story behind Cahokia
Although we are going to offer products of what has been created by the studio, like characters and plans and things like that, it is possible to get the real deal from artisans. Please purchase from them if you can.
Qualla Arts in the Smokey Mountains
The oldest Native American Cooperative founded in 1946
Keepers of The Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers
The Creek Potter
We are actually having a hard time finding authentic, current pieces so any online store recommendations are welcomed. Sites with multiple artisans, like Qualla, are especially encouraged.
First People's Art