Our men and women dance separately ceremonially, not because the men are more important or held in higher regard, but because the power of women can overwhelm those men’s’ ability to talk to god. They must dance harder; suffer more to make the connection that we maintain innately in our ability to make life. And it is out of deference to this fact that we don’t interfere with their prayers.
But if you were to look at this separation of the sexes from a non-Kiowa perspective, what would you see through your Western eyes? Inequality of power? Domination of men over women? Subjugation?
And thus NDN Grrrl: a recognition that my generation is part of the Third Wave Feminist thinking that recognizes that women must deal with issues of color, class and culture that were not included in the previous generations’ understanding of what women’s rights are or should be. It is the browning of feminism and it has nuances between the genders that stem from our home cultures whether they are in Africa or Asia or Latin America or even here in Indian Country.
So here is my NDN Grrrl: “traditional” beadwork techniques on a non-functional vinyl 2-D surface, an iconic Indian Princess popped up, subverting the identities placed on her, no longer an “Indian” or a “girl”.
Materials: vinyl, canvas, wood, glass beads, Swarovski crystals
Dimensions: l-38", h-60"