Shaka, born Edward Butler, October 19, 1941 on Saint Louis Plantation, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, the eldest of 21 siblings was raised much like the rest of the other people living and working on a sugar cane plantation. Art was never his dream nor his ambition. Fate, however, has a way of mapping out a different path along life's highway. This path eventually led him to the infamous Angola Prison near St. Francisville, Louisiana. While there, he became interested in woodcarving and began to pass the "empty hours" carving his "history in wood." He carves bas-reliefs of important black figures and heroes.
Shaka was the featured artist at Dillard University for the month of October, 2000 and enjoyed rave reviews. His art has also been featured at other universities in California, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama. His gallery, The Art Gallery of Trials and Tribulations in Baton Rouge, LA has been a favorite site for students while on field trips with their schools. At the University of West Florida, he was the guest artist at a reception given for the actors Danny Glover and Felix Justice.
His art is featured in The Smithsonian Magazine and Contemporary American Folk Art, A Collectors Guide by Chuck and Jan Rosenak. Shaka has won many awards and critical acclaim as a natural born contemporary talent and has traveled extensively from the west coast to the east coast displaying his art.