Google Features Historical Native American Author

If you found yourself searching for something through Google in late November, you might have noticed that the typical Google homepage looked different, as it often does.

Google changed their “Google Doodle,” which is the image that appears above their search bar, to a doodle reflecting famous Native American author, James Welch.

Google often changes the doodle to highlight historical events and historical people, and Welch earned the coveted spot last month.

Google’s homepage reflected Welch for a full twenty-four hours on November 18, 2016 to pay respect to the award-winning author on what would have been his 76th birthday.

Welch passed away in 2003 at the age of 62, but made his mark as an author long before that.

The Google Doodle spelled out “Google” in individual teepee letters in multiple colors such as orange and yellow with an arrow on each side toward the bottom of the page. The doodle had strong wild horses running across the soft drawing, in rich and warm colors.

James Welch’s face was drawn directly in the center, with a small smile and big round glasses.

The sun and the moon were drawn around his head, almost as if they were orbiting around him. The background of the doodle was traditional notebook paper with handwriting across it that one would assume was meant to reflect the handwriting of Welch.

You can see the image in the video below:

The Google Doodle was created by Google Doodler, Sophie Diao, to reflect Welch’s Native American heritage and pay tribute to him as a famous author.

Diao has a background in film storytelling and animation. She searched for inspiration in order to create this doodle through Welch’s books, photographs of the author, and Native American art work referred to as ledger art. From her research phase to physically creating the doodle, the process took her a total of six weeks.

Welch was raised on a Native American reservation and spent his life writing poetry and novels that captured Native American culture.

Welch spent a lot of time, when he was not writing, worrying that people would not appreciate his views of Native American culture. One of his most famous novels, “Fools Crow,” gained worldwide attention and received several national literary awards. He certainly made history, although he often feared that he would not be able to achieve the recognition he hoped for.

Visit the Kachina House blog for more information on Native American history and news.

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