Doug Hyde (Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa) b. 1946
"Flag Song," 1983
Tennessee pink marble, 70" x 63" x 19"
The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Doug Hyde was a student of Allan Houser's at IAIA in the mid-1960s, during its peak as "the" Indian art school. He adopted the Houser style of sculpting. The Houser-esque style is distinctive for heavy curved forms, fluid lines and foreshortened bodies with oversized hands. Hyde has been very successful in maintaining and continuing the Houser style.
His sculpture "Flag Song," represents the contemporary custom of honoring veterans by many Northern Plains cultures. This modern day activity is usually practiced during gatherings on Veterans Day and is grounded in the ancient ceremonies of honoring warriors. Both men and women participate in the ceremony according to society membership.
In Hyde's stone version, each figure is wearing a blanket. Compositionally, this allows for a solid and curvelinear rendering of the stone, a hallmark of the "Indian" sculpture. The male figure is holding his wide brimmed hat in his hand as a symbol of respect during the ceremony. The female figure is carrying an eagle feather fan. The eagle is held in high esteem by many Indian tribes as a symbol for strength and beauty.
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