When the opportunity arises I like to poke around in little out of the way antique and second hand shops. Usually the magpie in me goes right for shiny objects,especially those made of glass, but this item caught my eye from a torn box on the floor under an old kitchen table. It looked animal in origin and I go for that stuff too- feathers and nests and, on occasion, an old piece of taxidermy (remember Minkie?) When I first pulled this out I couldn’t even figure which end was up or what the small flat piece had to do with the rest of it.
In the bottom of the box was a small slip of paper that read: Moose. Stonehorse Lone Goeman. High iron worker, Detroit. Seneca. Petoskey.
I asked the woman at the counter what she knew about the piece and she said it had come from an estate sale of a man who had lived (and died) in the Petoskey area in Northern Michigan. I asked how much and she said 82.00. That seemed like a lot and I passed it by. That night the sound of the waves of Lake Michigan woke me up; we were staying in a friend’s cottage on the west side of the State. I kept thinking about the carved moose antler and the next morning I called information and asked for the names of of any Native American art galleries in Petoskey. There was one and from there I learned a bit more about Stonehorse Lone Goeman. At the time he carved this piece he was about 40 and had been doing "high iron work" on tall buildings in the Detroit area. Born in Minnesota, an army vet and a coach for the U.S. amateur boxing team, he is now a successful fulltime artist.The gallery owner also told me that he had left the area and is working in New York and that his carvings generally fetched upwards of fifteen hundred dollars. And where, he asked, had I seen this carving for sale?
I was waiting at the second hand store when they opened the next morning and I spent some more time fondling this antler. In the end I talked her down to 75.00 (I’m shameless, I know it.) and now this beautiful piece lives with me. Since acquiring this carving I’ve learned some more about it. Goeman says he uses his carvings to "record our beliefs and interpret our stories". The eagle is a spirit that man hopes to become, if only for a time, and in this case the eagle spirit is looking back down upon his human form. It measures 25 inches long and stands about a foot high; the whole thing balances on two small points and the facepiece. The more time passes, the more attached I am to the eagle-man.
Stonehorse Lone Goeman continues to carve in the Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York. He’s also been involved in political activism around tribal land issues for the Tonawonda Band of Seneca (Hawk Clan).