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July 21, 2019

7/11/2019 7:25:00 AM
James Wayman exhibit installed at George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center
Exhibit consists of 24 replicas of fish native to the Flambeau chain

The George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center in Lac du Flambeau has completed the installation of the James Wayman exhibit of carved fish decoys.

According to a museum press release, the exhibit consists of 24 decoys by this late Tribal craftsman. Each decoy represents a native fish in the Flambeau chain, the release explains.

"The Wayman family of carvers is represented in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's decoy collection along with seven other Lac du Flambeau families," the release notes.

"(Wayman's) work has been featured in sports journals and exhibited at the American Folk Art Museum."

Decoy carving for ice fishing is a centuries old craft most probably descended from the Inuit to woodland natives of the upper Great Lakes Region and then to the Ojibwe, the release explains.

"The decoys are functional, used by spear fishermen to attract their prey," the release states. "In Lac du Flambeau, spearing was a vital method of survival during the harsh winters, and the skill continues to be highly valued on the Reservation. The Wayman exhibit is an excellent example of this practical craft. It also allows viewers to compare each decoy to a photo of the actual fish it represents to see how the craftsman adapted the appearance of the fish to the need to attract prey."

The exhibit is on loan through Sept. 22.

The museum is located at 603 Peace Pipe Road in Lac du Flambeau.


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