Woodblock print of a large mountain colored red and blue with white clouds and a blue sky behind it. Small trees sit at the base of the mountain. In the top left of the frame, Japanese text is in a white rectangle.

Issue 18 




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k. funmilayo aileru
Josiah Luis Alderete
Carmen Arnold-Biucchi
Gina Borromeo
Phillip E. Bloom
Sháńdíín Brown
Wai Yee Chiong
Paola Demattè
Benedict Gagliardi
Stephen Parman
Craig Santos Perez
Jen Thum
Brianna Turner
Melanie Yazzie


Issue 18—Nature


In our [Chamoru] culture, inafa’maolek is our most important value. It roughly translates as “to make good for each other.” Inafa’maolek teaches us that all things are connected and related, including people, environments, and all species. Because all things are interwoven, we must always act with guinaiya and respetu, love and respect.

—Craig Santos Perez, introduction


Manual 18 explores human interactions with the natural world, from frank awe and deep appreciation of the immediate moment to eternal questions and ancient unfinished business. This issue of Manual complements the exhibition Being and Believing in the Natural World, co-curated by Gina Borromeo, Wai Yee Chiong, and Sháńdíín Brown, on view at the RISD Museum now through June 4, 2023.


From the Files

Brianna Turner protects the protector through conservation analysis of a carving of Vishnu


Double Takes

Josiah Luis Alderete and Stephen Parman stare right back at an Aztec spider monkey

Gina Borromeo and Wai Yee Chiong rattle a sistrum in honor of the bovine deity Hathor

Benedict Gagliardi and Paola Demattè sing the praises of a Chinese lei vessel embellished with cicadas


Object Lessons

Sháńdíín Brown reflects on how Diné innovation and self-reliance shine in a silver squash-blossom necklace

Jen Thum ponders the nature of authenticity as she uncovers the secrets of an ancient ibis mummy

Phillip E. Bloom explains how a vivid depiction of Buddha worked to assemble the spirits of water and land


Artists on Art

k. funmilayo aileru declares It Was Not a Fight, It Was a Massacre

Melanie Yazzie walks in beauty



A natural progression of works from the collection


How To

Carmen Arnold-Biucchi pays attention to the animal symbolism on ancient Greek coins




RISD Museum Interim Director
and Manual Editor-in-Chief:
Sarah Ganz Blythe
Editor: Amy Pickworth
Co Editor: MJ Robinson
Art Director: Derek Schusterbauer
Graphic Designers: Brendan Campbell, Ella Lawless, and Mina Kim
Digital Designers: Brendan Campbell and Jack Tufts
Rights Manager: Sionan Guenther
Photographer: Erik Gould
Printer: GHP

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A publication lies open on a white surface. Resting in the middle of the page is a rainbow-colored bookmark, the word “Manual” stamped onto it.





Cover image:

Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎

Japanese (1760–1849, b. in Edo, Japan;

lived and worked in Japan)

Fine Wind, Clear Weather ((凱風快晴 Gaifū kaisei) (detail);

from the series Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji

(富嶽三十六景Fugaku sanjūrokkei); ca. 1829–1833;

Polychrome woodblock print

Plate: 25.9 × 37.9 cm (10 3⁄16 × 14 15⁄16 inches)

Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke 20.1185