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Japanese Children's Day Carp Banners, Paguate Village, Jackpile Mine Uranium Tailings, Laguna Pueblo Reservation, New Mexico

Accession Number
2004/1.106

Title
Japanese Children's Day Carp Banners, Paguate Village, Jackpile Mine Uranium Tailings, Laguna Pueblo Reservation, New Mexico

Artist(s)
Patrick Nagatani

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1990

Medium & Support
dye destruction print on paper

Dimensions
16 ⅛ in x 20 1/16 in (40.96 cm x 50.96 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Beverly Baker in memory of Morris D. Baker

Subject matter
This photograph of the Laguna Pueblo Reservation has a copy of the carp streamers from a woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige printed on the top. The Hiroshige print is from 1857 and is titled Suido Bridge and Surrugadai, No. 48 from the series, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. It shows the same carp streamers seen in Nagatani's print flying on Japanese Children's Day which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month. The carp are a symbol of life and are used for the special day that celebrates for the life of boys ages six and seven. In the background of Nagatani's print is a cemetery at the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, directly contradicting the celebration of life that the carp symbolize. From 1953-1982 uranium was mined from the area leaving it contaminated and polluting the residents and their land. Nagatani created the series Nuclear Enchantment with the hope of bringing attention to the devastation that nuclear energy and weaponry can bring. The two other carp that are visible in the background are diminishing in size compared to the first one that dominates the scene, which could indicate that the celebration of life symbolized by the carp is also diminishing. Nagatani views the Native Americans that live on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation as both victims of the contamination and as victimizers of the government since they benefitted monetarily from the clean-up process.

References:
Nagatani, Patrick. A Hot Iron Ball He Can Neither Swallow Nor Spit Out: Patricka Nagatani, Nuclear Fear, and the Uses of Enchantment. Edited by Eugenia Parry Janis. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991). 36-37.
Nagatani, Patrick. Nuclear Enchantment. http://www.patricknagatani.com/

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a view of a desert landscape with a fish hanging from the top of a thin pole in the foreground.  Behind the fish is a small cemetery that has mounds and crosses and in the distance are a few small buildings. Two more poles with fish hanging from them appear farther away in the image to the right of the fish in the foreground.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Japanese-American
carp
cemeteries
contamination
nuclear bombs
nuclear power
parades
pollution
uranium

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& Author Notes

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