By Tamara Ikenberg
This weekend and next week, Indian Country visual artists and performers will roll the stereotypes, sporting their native self-expression on their sleeves and dancing like a storm.
Events include a superimposed look at Native clothing and ornaments, a hoop-dancing extravaganza, a lyrical encounter with powerful Native American poetesses, and an exhibit that transforms tired Native American stereotypes into smart, jaw-dropping artistic statements.
To leave Indigenous News OnlineThe roundup of events from will guide you through the grandeur of Indian country in the coming days.
Waging Words: Indigenous women’s voices through poetry
WHEN: Sunday, March 26, 4 p.m.
“Waging Words” is a lively and lyrical ode to contemporary American language, culture and life.
Presented by Navajo artist and filmmaker Pamela J. Peters and featuring poets Kelly Caballero (Tongva), Emily Clarke (Cahuilla) and Rowie Shebala (Navajo), “Waging Words” pays tribute to the talents of the county’s vibrant Indigenous communities of Los Angeles, home to one of the largest Native American populations in the country.
Each poet will discuss the issues facing their communities, as well as the preservation of their cultures.
Dressing for the Creator: Indigenous Art and the Power of the Show
WHEN: March 29, 9:30 a.m.
OR: Online and at the Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy and online at; Event Page
Tlingit poet and tattoo artist Nahaan is adamant about the spiritual aspect of skin adornment.
“Cultural tattooing needs to have a much bigger presence in our indigenous communities,” Nahaan said in a video on his website. “Tattooing has the potential to heal across generations and reinforce that sense of purity.
“It’s telling people who you are. It is visible. It’s bold. It is decidedly indigenous.
Nahaan will share his perspective on tattoos in a talk titled “Refiguring the Body” at the “Dressing for the Creator: Indigenous Art and the Power of Spectacle” symposium at the Denver Art Museum this weekend.
The symposium focuses on the ways in which Aboriginal people signal their indigeneity to society at large, the importance of dress and adornment, and how Aboriginal artists approach the sale of their wearable works in the markets of art while remaining respectful of their communities and aesthetic traditions.
Nahaan will be joined by a handful of other famous acclaimed artists in creating unapologetically unique native clothing and ornaments.
Osage and Muscogee artist Anita Fields, a textile designer known for her feathery and flashy traditional Osage wedding attire, is the keynote speaker. Gwich’in Fine Jewelery Designer Tania Larson, who crafts pieces with earthy, natural materials like musk ox horn and fur, will talk about Signaling Indigeneity. Cherokee, Creek and Osage painter and muralist Yatika Starr Fields will address the topic Found in Translation.
World hoop dance competition
WHEN: Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27
OR: Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ; Event page and tickets
After a hoop-free 2021, the Heard Museum is once again hosting the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, and all the art, athleticism, tradition and suspense that comes with it.
An individual routine can incorporate up to 50 hoops, and competitors often create incredible moving designs such as animals, insects, and globes during performances.
Dancers are judged on a list of five skills: Precision, Timing/Rhythm, Showmanship, Creativity and Speed in one of five categories: Tiny Tots (5 and under), Youth (6-12), Teen ( 13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40+) for cash prizes totaling $25,000.
The 2020 winners were Adult World Champion Scott Sixkiller-Sinquah (Gila River Pima, Hopi), Senior World Champion Moontee Sinquah (Hopi, Tewa, Choctaw), Teen World Champion: Nedallas Hammill (Diné) and World Champion world junior Kailayne Jensen (Dine) .
Savages and Princesses
WHEN: From Wednesday 6 April to Wednesday 25 May
OR: The Warm Springs Museum2189 US-26 Warm Springs, OR
From Tiger Lily to Tonto, stereotypes of Native American peoples are an integral part of American pop and visual culture.
In the new show “Savages and Princess: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes”, a dozen contemporary Native artists explore, question and challenge these misconceptions and reclaim Native identity through paintings, vessels, sculptures and other pieces full of humor, irony and honesty. .
The work is accompanied and contextualized with information about common stereotypes and the real stories behind the lies.
Participating artists include Tom Farris (Otoe-Missouria), Heidi Bigknife (Shawnee), Juanita Pahdopony (Comanche) Shan Gorshon (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Micah Wesley (Mvskoke Creek Nation/Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma) and Kira Poole (Caddo -Delaware).
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