‘This is My Calling’

Categories: 2016 September-October Issue, Alabaster, Joe, Oreland, Marble, Portrait, and Wildlife.

Best known for his magnificent stone carvings, Oreland Joe also puts his artistic skills to good use in creating bronze sculptures, as well as paintings and jewelry. His creativity doesn’t end there, however.

“I’ve ventured into filmmaking and am writing a book,” he says, adding that the process for both will take two to three years to complete. “The film is an historic documentary about a 4-year-old Ute boy who was stolen by the Cheyenne in 1849. He was called Yellow Nose and was adopted and raised by Spotted Wolf, head chief of the Northern Cheyenne. At age 12, there are accounts of him participating in battles in the North Platte area and Nebraska, and he is one of 11 warriors who might have killed Custer in the Little Big Horn Battle.

“The book is a narrative of short stories from my childhood until now. I go to art shows almost every month and get the same questions. This book will give my collectors and others an idea of who I am.”

Oreland Joe (New Mexico)

Italian Marble, Pearl and Opal
11.5″ High
“This image is a bear chasing a trout. Instead of carving the bear in a hostile position, I decided to have it in a calm, natural pose. The thought translated from hearing stories of the Bear Dance, an annual dance practiced by the Ute tribes of Colorado. These are my father’s people. The bear is of sacred significance to our tribe; it is regarded as a protector.”

Oreland Joe (New Mexico)

Bear Medicine
17″ High
“When the first delegation of Utes were invited to Washington, they were given gifts. The top hat was one of them. It was adopted quickly to adorn a Ute man’s attire or regalia. Its presence gained popularity, as trade beads, ribbons, feathers, and small tassels were added as personal touches; to each his own. Both men and women wore these hats.”