Turtle Island/Sky Woman

Peter B. Jones

Haudenosaunee, Onoñdaʼgegáʼ (Onondaga) Nation, Beaver


Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians, New York,



Clay, stoneware 


Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians, New York, USA

Peter B. Jones is a Haudenosaunee sculptor and potter, who is a member of the Onondaga Nation Beaver Clan, and is currently creating in his workshop and studio in the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York State. Jones incorporates the traditional element of storytelling into his pieces to tackle the difficult history of urbanization, media exploitation, and local acculturation (assimilation to a different culture) of Native communities.

The sculpture is stoneware, meaning the clay has been fired at a very high temperature—making it highly durable and stone-like. Jones’s clay turtle carries the Statue of Liberty on its back, a plane crashing into it; a television showing Sky Woman falling and birds swooping to her assistance; people emerging from the earth and sitting with knees drawn up; a nuclear danger sign, an alcohol bottle, and more.

In an interview for The Summer Local, Jones states, “Everyone wants to be comfortable. They don’t want to be reminded of the genocide and internments that went on in our history. We’re denying our history by not wanting to remember.”