Tananáwit, a Community of Warm Springs Artists, is a community-based organization whose mission is to provide educational and economic development opportunities by empowering our people and building knowledge and understanding of traditional and contemporary Native art of the Columbia River Plateau.
It is 2022 and Tananáwit is known for traditional and contemporary Columbia River Plateau-inspired designs and serves as a model for other arts organizations. Artists use branding effectively and have many opportunities to sell art online. Buying authentic Native American arts and crafts in Warm Springs is highly desired.
Warm Springs is a vibrant and sustainable community and Tananáwit artists prosper from their art. Artists have a workspace to make, collaborate, and sell their art locally and they are integrated into the cultural tourism community. There are regular, well-attended art shows that feature traditional and contemporary artists. The artists have ready access to all tools, supplies, and transportation they need to create quality art.
Tananáwit artists reflect the strongly-held values of family, creativity, and culture in Warm Springs with their deep commitment to sharing intergenerational knowledge through teaching and passing down of cultural art styles to future generations.
ABOUT WARM SPRINGS
The Warm Springs Indian Reservation, home to the majority of the 5,200 members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), consists of timbered and high desert landscapes on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains, covering 1,019 square miles in Oregon’s Wasco and Jefferson counties. The CTWS is comprised of three tribes: Warm Springs, Wasco, and Northern Paiute. There are approximately 6,000 people living on the reservation. An estimated 250 to 300 of these people are artists, who make various types of traditional and nontraditional art representing themselves and their cultures.
Tananáwit began meeting in December 2013, when a dozen Warm Springs tribal members held an informal meeting about starting a cooperative. From this meeting, a five-person steering committee was formed and the decision was made to form an artisans’ cooperative. This core group wanted to find opportunities for community members to sell their work and share their traditional arts and crafts with others. By 2016, the group began to have regular meetings and workshops, which were attended by up to 25 community members. The organization maintains a Facebook page with over 150 members, and is growing each month. There is also a public page with information on community events. In April 2017, the group selected its name, “Tananáwit: A Community of Warm Springs Artists”, and its members agreed to pursue nonprofit status.
The group currently consists of 15-20 tribal members who regularly participate in its events and workshops. Each person has her or his own unique style of art, and her or his own unique story to tell. The artists produce beadwork, huckleberry baskets, ceramics, cedar root baskets, pine needle baskets, quilts, traditional ribbon shirts and wing dresses, traditional jingle dresses, paintings, deer hide bags and moccasins, buckskin dresses, and many other types of art.