By Saya Novinger
contributing writer 

Chalk on the Walk Best of Show


August 19, 2023


2023 Chalk on the Walk Best of Show by Saya Novinger.

I dedicate this artwork to the Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Southern Paiute) people of the Tehachapi Mountains who have lived here for thousands of years.

"Nuwä Momo'o" (Nuwä Woman) depicts a Transitional Nuwä woman gathering Valley Oak acorns, for making acorn meal, on a beautiful late summer day with a cloudless Tehachapi sky. Her expression is peaceful and also confident, for she knows she will survive and adapt to any of life's challenges.

She is holding what is called a "burden basket," a large conical twined basket made from willow. These were used traditionally for all kinds of harvesting, as well as for carrying any smaller objects or belongings – similar to the way backpacks or tote bags are used today.

My chalk panel is a tribute to the adaptable and resilient "Transitional Nuwä" people who lived from about 1850 to 1950, and endured great change to their lives and culture with the coming of European Americans. They wore Western clothing and incorporated foods like bacon, wheat flour and tortillas into their diet, but they also continued traditional ways of life, like gathering acorns, harvesting native seeds and plants, basketmaking, hunting, etc. The pattern at the bottom is the traditional rattlesnake design used in their basketmaking.

Thank you to Brandi Greene Kendrick who is the granddaughter of Nuwä elder Andy Greene and was the body model for this piece. Thank you to my grandmother Anne Marie Novinger for encouraging me to participate. And my fiancé Jon Hammond for his loving support. Thank you to Gallery 'N' Gifts for selecting my piece as Best of Show. I am so honored and very grateful.

See the full list of winners at


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2024