Tom Huff
Stone Sculptor
Seneca-Cayuga Deer Clan
R.D. 1 Bx 245 A Onondaga Nation
Nedrow, NY 13120

About My Sculptures

I am a stone sculptor working in a wide variety of stones, styles and themes- traditional and contemporary, creating mixed media and found object sculpture. In much of my work,I address the current situation of Native Americans mixing cultural, stereotypical, political and autobiographical elements.

I began carving stone, wood and antler at home, inspired by the artists at the Cattaraugus Seneca Nation, and later attending the Institute of American Indian Arts, (AFA 1979) in Santa Fe, New Mexico,sculp-1 and the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA 1984).I currently live on the Onondaga Nation near Syracuse, New York with my wife, sculptor Trudi Shenandoah, son Charlie and daughter Kali, where I maintain a sculpture studio.

Stone is ancient. One of the original elements of creation. We believe that a living spirit exists in all natural things. Therefore stone is alive and worthy of communication. Stone sculpture is universal and one of mans oldest art forms of art and self expression. Always we must remember that the earth is a large stone. As a Native American sharing of culture is inevitable. I see my ability to carve and create as a gift from the Creator and it is my responsibility to share that gift through the teaching and sharing that comes from social interaction.

  • Adjunct professor at the Onondaga Community College in Syracuse N.Y., teaching an annual stone carving/Iroquois Art course with other Native artists
  • Curates the following shows:

When carving stone
The stone looks at me, as if to taunt
Carve me up, Tom Huff, carve me up
Smash me with your hammer and chisel
So I proceed to carve into it until
In a fit of passion, Hit a crack
And smash it into a million pieces
Now uncarvable, I sweep up the piece
And I throw them outside on the ground
As I walk away,
I hear the stones laughing

The Haudenosaunee


Haudenosaunee means “People of the Long House” and is our name for the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora. The Grand Council of Chiefs and Clan mothers of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy is the oldest continuously operating Native government in the world.

Haudenosaunee Art

Haudenosaunee art begins with our Creation Story and continues on with stories and commentary on our lives in this, the 21st century. In this time we exist still with all the tradition, history and changes in between our creation and now.

pic-2The Snapping Turtle, The White Pine Tree of Peace, and The Eagle have become the main symbols of our culture. Images of people and animals as well as the traditional floral and geometric line designs are seen in much of our visual arts.

Wampum Belt designs, such as the Hiawatha Belt,  serve as documented events on our history as well as symbols of our identity. Our traditions are the lifeblood of our contemporary art. We artists are the new historians, storytellers, teachers warriors and diplomats of our Haudenosaunee people.

There are however many more artists living in our communities than just the visual artists and crafts people. There are artists who practice the ancient arts of language, culture, traditional singing, dancing, private ceremony, ritual and oratory. These artists also honor our people through the arts of agriculture, culinary masterpieces, natural medicine and midwifery, athletics, con-temporary music, film and performance. The new traditional arts of carpentry, iron working and car repair also grace our people. Then there are the all important arts of community, decision making, family relationships and teaching.

We are now speaking our Native languages on the Internet, using e-mail, creating web pages on the computer which are transmitted via laser satellite through time space and the stars.

We must acknowledge these arts too as the history of economics has made necessary the arts of adaptation.

pic-4.And we are making contact finally… after many attempts.

gain, we acknowledge the natural world, we honor the teachings of our ancestors, and we extend our hands in peace. We give thanks.

Within the next millennium to which we have been assigned we will be necessary.

Nya weh – Tom Huff

Additional Artist Information

    • The Nuclear Indian Series, a solo installation
    • Tonto Revisited: Indian Stereotypes, an exhibit of found objects and images
    • Group exhibitions of contemporary Iroquois artists from the Six Nations Confederacy
  • Writer whose poetry and prose have been published
  • Editor of Stonedust, an Iroquois art newsletter
  • Maintains a web site,, an online gallery of Iroquois artists and art news
  • Trustee of the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cave, N.Y.
  • Served on various boards and committees of the Everson Museum, Syracuse, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia and Atlatl a Native arts organization in Phoenix, Arizona.




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