Illustration: "Working Together" by Lance Foster
The Iowa Indians (or Ioway Indians) lived in Iowa for ages untold. Women were the heart of the Ioway people, for it was through women that Life passed and children were born. While the men were in charge of hunting, the women were in charge of farming, and owned the fields.
In "Working Together," by Ioway artist Lance M. Foster (Hengruh: "Oldest Son"), it is spring (Behu), the time of planting crops: corn (waduje), beans (honyi), and squash (wadwan). The women of a family are together, out in the field. Some are using hoes made from the shoulderblades of elk and bison. Others are using rakes made from deer antlers. They are singing to the corn and encouraging it to grow, and talking to each other and enjoying themselves. There are four generations represented here: a mother and her two small daughters, and her teen-aged daughter work with the grandmother, while the oldest daughter carries her new baby in the cradleboard on her back. The little girls work right alongside everyone else, because that's how they learned how to be adults. Everyone's efforts were valued, and the family enjoyed itself while they were "Working Together."
Ancestral Ways of Life
Ioway Houses and Lodges
Ioway Clothing and Adornment
Songs Recorded by George Catlin