Published on December 13, 2013 by Amy
Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (born 1954) is a Seminole-Muscogee-Navajo photographer, curator, and educator living in Davis, California.
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Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie was born into the Bear and Raccoon Clans of the Seminole and Muscogee Nations and born for the Tsinajinnie Clan of the Navajo Nation, as her mother was Seminole and Muscogee and her father, Andrew Van Tsinajinnie, was Navajo. Andrew (b. 1916) was a painter and muralist who studied at the Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Hulleah was born in 1954 in Phoenix, Arizona. She moved to the Navajo Reservation in 1966. In 1975, she began her art education at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. In 1978, Hulleah enrolled in the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting with a photography minor in 1981. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from University of California, Irvine in 2002.
Although she is a photographer, Hulleah often hand-tints her photographs or uses them in collage. She has also used unusual supports for her work, such as car hoods. She shoots her own original photographs, as well as retooling historical photographs of Native Americans. Hulleah also works in fine art film and videography.
Since 2004, Tsinhnahjinnie has been faculty in the Department of Native American studies at University of California, Davis, where she is an Associate Professor and serves as Director of the C. N. Gorman Museum. At Davis, she has organized conferences, such as “Visual Sovereignty”, bringing together indigenous photographers from around the world.