Leonard F. Chana was born in the fall of 1950 into the Kaij Mek (Burnt Seed) community, now called Santa Rosa Village, in the heart of the Tohono O’odham Nation. In the 1970’s, Leonard began to pursue his interest in making art. He developed his own personal style of stippling—images are formed with dots in pen and ink—for expressing Tohono O’odham life and traditions. Leonard lives in Tucson with his wife Barbara and their family.
Leonard on his art:
“My first art was drawings of my pride in being Indian. I drew Indians with feathers, teepees…the Hollywood Indian. But I felt something missing in my heart, the same feeling I got coming home from boarding school after five years. Memories of a comfortable time when all the elders were there, and the magic (culture and tradition) that kept us alive, swirled through and around us. Now the elders are gone and there are few left to teach but bits and pieces of the O’odham hindag (the way of the people).”