Soctomah Neptune

Geo Soctomah Neptune

They // Them // Theirs

[ID: Geo, a light-skinned indigenous person, looks into the camera. Traditional markings are tattooed on their forehead and chin, and their shaved head is adorned with feathers. They have a light beard and dramatic makeup, and are wearing earrings made from tusk shells and porcupine quills. Their clothing is decorated in a tusk shell butterfly pattern.]

Basketry Artist and Performer
Motahkomikuk, ME
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the USA Board of Trustees.

Geo Soctomah Neptune is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe from Indian Township, ME, and a master basketmaker, drag queen, activist, educator, and two-spirit—an indigenous cultural, spiritual, and gender role that holds the sacred space between masculine and feminine energies.

Learning primarily under their grandmother Molly Neptune Parker, Neptune has been weaving since they were four years old. At eleven years old, they began teaching with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and, at twenty, became the youngest person to receive the title Master Basketmaker. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2010, they returned home and began developing their individual artistic style of whimsical and historically informed basketry and woven jewelry. With their grandmother’s influence clearly visible in their work, Neptune shows the closeness that the two shared and the lifelong education they received through her teachings. Molly Neptune Parker made her journey to be with the Ancestors in June of 2020.

They have worked not only within Wabanaki communities toward cultural preservation but also statewide within Maine schools to provide content for the state’s Indigenous History educational mandate. Their activism has enabled them to travel the world to share about the contemporary issues faced by indigenous peoples. Neptune’s work narrates the journey toward embracing the sacred role of the two-spirit: a keeper of tradition and teacher of Passamaquoddy and other Wabanaki youth.

Portrait photo by Sipsis Peciptaq Elamoqessik.
  • Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune
    Ceremony of the Singing Stars, 2017. Black ash, sweetgrass, birchbark, commercial dyes, dimensions 10 × 12 inches. Photo courtesy the artist.
    [ID: Photo of a brightly colored basket, with rainbow stripes woven through intricate patterns of black strips. A tiny woven bird rests on one edge of the basket lid.]
  • Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune
    Berry Baskets, 2018. Black ash, sweetgrass, commercial dyes, dimensions ¾ inches in diameter.
    [ID: Photo of a group of miniature lidded baskets woven to resemble strawberries and blackberries. The baskets are dyed bright purples and reds with hints of green, with tiny woven flowers and braided grass vines bouncing from the lids of each basket.]
  • Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune
    Floral Cascade earrings, 2020. Black ash, sweetgrass, dentalium shell, freshwater pearl, vintage french seed beads, 24k gold plated beads, genuine tigers eye beads, 14k gold filled hooks, dimensions 3 × 12 inches.
    [ID: Photo of long flower-shaped earrings made from thinly split wood splints woven with blades of grass in various sizes, strung with tusk shells, glass beads, and pearls.]
Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune Artwork by Geo Soctomah Neptune