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About   A. Wayne "Tay Sha" Earles

My given Caddo name, Tay-Sha, originally meant wolf, but the wolf takes you to the other side when you pass on...he is your guide and therefore your friend.  The Caddoan tribes used this word to describe their friends & allies, but Spanish explorers & missionaries upon hearing this word, pronounced it "Tejas". The state name of Texas comes from this word.  So, the state of Texas is named after me...just kidding, I'm not that old :-), but it is true of the state name.


Born in Hinton, OK and raised to age eleven on a farm near Cedar Lake, I frequently explored the red rock (Sandstone) canyons wondering if I could carve something from the Sandstone I also had stone & arrowhead collections, so stone has always been an important interest to me. Art has also been a part of my life, with a Grandfather & Uncle both artists, I grew up loving art.  Selling my first artwork, a colored pencil Buffalo drawing, at age nine, I went on to El Reno high school with a growing interest in art.  However, while earning a degree at Oklahoma University I decided against an art degree, which may have been a mistake.  But, I did take some elective art classes that have been helpful in my artwork.  During my employment  history with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service, I developed a side interest in photography displaying my photos for a few years at Oklahoma City & surrounding area Art festivals.

After my sons with Fine Arts degrees,  began getting into Art festivals & galleries, they encouraged me to return to art.  As Caddo Nation members, my sons thoroughly researched our art & culture resulting in their art revealing the beautiful ancient traditional Caddo designs, but also sometimes their own contemporary variations.  This rekindled my desire to finally pursue my interest in Stone, so after some extensive stonework art research, I ventured somewhat tentatively into Stonework Art in 2015. 


My work consists of two lines of Stonework art - Cultural Stonework and Contemporary Stone Jewelry with ancient traditional Caddo/Spiro engraved designs.  Using only handtools (no power), rasps, files and sandpaper, I create my art by carving from rough stone, the softer variety such as Soapstone, Pipestone & Alabaster.  My Cultural Stonework is inspired by discovered ancient Caddo lithic (stone) artifacts mostly found at Spiro Mounds in northeastern Oklahoma.  These inspired creations represent my versions of the ancient Monolithic Axes, Ceremonial Maces, Batons, Chunkey Stones & Bannerstones.  The Contemporary Stone Jewelry line consists of stone Pendant and Gorget necklaces/chokers with engraving inspired by the beautiful and intricate ancient Caddo/Spiro Pottery designs and designs found on their shell, stonework and other artifacts.  The stones are attached to leather cord of various colors & thicknesses while being finished with silver or copper findings.


From 2015 to 2021, I have displayed my work at Art festivals & shows as shown below, winning six 1st place awards, one 2nd and three 3rd place awards.  In addition to providing an outlet to express my art, I hope that my Stonework art might catch the interest of Caddo youth, making them realize how very intricate and beautifully artistic their own ancient Caddo Pottery, shell & other artifact designs are.  Hopefully, this might inspire them to pursue the continuation of some type of Caddo art.  It would also be rewarding to see my art inspire even youth from other tribes to continue their own tribe's art.


  Ist Place- Cultural Weaponry(Monolithic Axe#1), Artesian Arts Festival, Sulphur, OK- 2015

  3rd Place- Cultural(Monolithic Axe#1), Red Earth, Oklahoma City, OK - 2015

  Ist Place- Cultural Weaponry(Monolithic Axe#1), SEASAM, Tishomingo, OK - 2015

  Ist Place- Cultural Weaponry(Ceremonial Mace#2), Artesian Arts Festival, Sulphur, OK- 2016

  3rd Place- Cultural(Ceremonial Mace#2), Red Earth, Oklahoma City, OK - 2016

  2nd Place- Cultural Weaponry(Monolithic Axe#2), Artesian Arts Festival, Sulphur, OK - 2017

  Ist Place- Cultural(Monolithic Axe#2), Red Earth, Oklahoma City, OK-  2017

  3rd Place- Jewelry-Stone(Gorget#3), SEASAM, Tishomingo, OK-  2017

  *  Ist Place- Cultural Weaponry(Ceremonial Mace##4), SEASAM, Tishomingo, OK - 2018

  *  Ist Place- Cultural Weaponry(Monolithic Axe#2), SEASAM, Tishomingo, OK- 2019


  Caddo Culture Day at Caddo Mounds, Alto, TX- $450 Contract award- 2015, 2016, 2019

  Chickasaw's Contemporary Caddo Arts Exhib., Chokma'si Gallery, Ada, OK- $400 Contract award- 2017

  Caddo Culture Day at Caddo Mounds, Alto, TX- $400 Contract award- 2017

  *  Caddo Conference Lecture Honorarium & Art Honorarium- $300- 2019, 2020

  *  OKC Indian Art Club Presentation- $50- 2019

  *  National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum- Spiro Writeup on my art- $250


  Caddo Festival/Symposium, Oklahoma City, OK- 2015, 2016

  Haskell Indian Art Market, Lawrence, KS- 2015

  Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admin. Officers Annual Event, OKC- 2016

  Cherokee Trail of Tears Art Show & Sale, Tahlequah, OK- 2016

  Northwestern State Univ. of Louisiana Folklife Festival, Natchitoches, LA- 2016

  Cherokee National Holiday Art Show, Tahlequah, OK- 2016

  SEASAM(Southeastern Art Show & Market), Tishomingo, OK- 2016

  *  Artesian Arts Festival, Sulphur, OK- 2018

  *  Red Earth, OKC- 2018

  Cherokee Art Market, Tulsa, OK- 2016, 2018

  Caddo Festival/Symposium, Sam Noble Museum, Norman, OK- 2017, 2018, 2019

  Jacobson House Holiday Art Market, Norman, OK- 2017, 2018

  *  Virtual Art Mkts. in 2020: Artesian, SEASAM & Cherokee

  *  Virtual Art Mkt. in 2021:  Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Mkt.


  *  SEIAA (Southeastern Indian Artists Association- 2017

  *   Indian Arts & Crafts Board- Source Directory- listing of artists & businesses- 2021- 


  *  Chokma'si Gallery, Ada, OK- 2015-2017

  *  Cole Art Center, Nacogdoches, TX- Caddo Contemporary: Present & Relevant- 1/24-3/24/19

  National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, OKC- permanent collection 2021-

            & Spiro & the Art of the Mississippian World Exhibition tour starting here 2/12/21, then Dallas

            Museum of Art & on to Birmingham Museum of Art

  Museum of the Red River, Idabel, OK- Contemporary Caddo Art  Exhibition- 3/2-5/23/21


  *  2Sculpt 2017 Catalog- vol.0117, p.33- Photo of "P'-i-ta-u-ni-wan'-ha"= To have power from (Monolithic                Axe#1-  a garfish effigy)     

  *  First American Art magazine- No.15.Summer 2017, p.25-27-  Article paragraph & other comments, plus                photo of "P'-i-ta-u-ni-wan'-ha"= To have power from (Monolithic Axe#1- a garfish effigy)

  *  Recovering Ancient Spiro- 9.5"x 11.75"HB by Singleton & Reilly- p.134-5- Full page article & full page                  photo of Ceremonial Mace#2: Tah'-nah-ha (Buffalo)

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