Ronni-Leigh Goeman

Ronni-Leigh Goeman

Ronnie-Leigh Goeman (Guynehgwenta)

Onondaga Nation/Eel Clan

“When I weave a basket, I share the living past of my people. I am able to pass on a traditional art form, as well as the stories of those who came before – intertwining the past, present and future.”

Ronnie-Leigh Goeman grew up on the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy located in Upstate New York.

As a young girl, she became intrigued with the art of basket-making and began making baskets as a teenager. As she grew older, many traditional Iroquois women who taught her the importance of balanncing old traditions with individuality influenced her work. One of these women – Mae Big Tree, a renowned basket-maker from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation – became her mentor.

Although Ronni-Leigh uses traditional Iroquois methods of basket-making, she has evolved and elevated her art to Ronni-Leigh harvests sweet grass another level by incorporating the sculpture of Stonehorse Goeman, creating “basket sculpture”. All of the basket-sculptures are inspired by and based on Iroquois culture and tradition. Each basket is elaborately woven, using ash and sweet grass and embellished with moose hair and quill. The elaborate weaving and delicate sculpture creates a unique, one-of-a-kind presentation of “Iroquois basket sculpture”.

Her artistry has earned her honors in Native American Arts forums. She has garnered awards in contemporary, traditional and mixed media basket-making in prestigious shows such as :

  • Santa Fe Indian Market
  • Eiteljong
  • Heard and Heard Basket Show
  • Schemitzun
  • Indigenous People’s Market/Saginaw Chippewa
  • Smithsonian NMAI art markets
  • Cherokee (Tulsa) Art market

Collectors throughout the United States and Europe have purchased her baskets.

Ronni-Leigh presently resides in the Onondaga Nation with her family. In addition to her basket work, she has earned a B.S. in Psychology, and M.S. in Education and an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work. She has shown that it is possible to maintain a balance between a traditional and contemporary lifestyle. While at home, she divides her time making baskets with other traditional Iroquois art forms.

Stone Horse Goeman