Sisterhood Is Sacred: Cara Romero Photography + IGG
Sisterhood Is Sacred
A collaboration between Cara Romero Photography and Indigenous Goddess Gang
"As a Pueblo woman from Zuni Pueblo as well as Cochiti Pueblo I feel I’m twice as empowered with the diversity of each Pueblo I am a part of. Growing up my mother often took us to visit Zuni. I grew up developing a close relationship with my great grandparents who fluently spoke the Zuni language. Spending time watching kachina dances and participating in the preparation of bread baking and cooking. I saw first hand how the the uniqueness of the Zuni Pueblo’s language and cultural practices differed with the language and cultural practices within Cochiti Pueblo. Which also led me to see similarities between the two pueblos. The importance of retaining our language, cultural practices and the most important, respect for elders and their role within the family as well as community. Through generations of hardships and resilience we’ve survived and thrived. I am able to carry on the traditional values instilled within me and I am proud to be able to participate in cultural activities that show me that through all the hardships previous generations endured, with their resistance, I’m able to be a part of my own history and evolvement."-Jazmin Arquero
“As a Pueblo woman I am empowered by the strong women who raised me and the women who raised them, my culture which strengthens me and knowledge of the resistant history of my people. When I say raised me I mean the women in my community who all had a role in mothering me in some way. As Pueblo people we view ourselves as a part our people, we don’t traditionally have a concept of individualism. -Marquel Musgrave”
“I am deeply committed to making work that addresses Native American social issues and changes the way people perceive Native Americans, especially Native women, in contemporary society. If we want respect, love and beauty among us and others, we must actively promote it through art.” -Cara Romero
Cara Romero Artist Statement:
In Chemehuevi (pronounced cheh-meh-WAY-vee), our Creator is a female deity. Her name is Great Ocean Woman (Hutsipamamau'u) and she created all the land and people from her body with the help (and sometimes mischief) of Wolf, Coyote, and Mountain Lion. There are several other female familiars during our early dawn stories. All of the females have great strength and diversity, they range from old to young, sometimes they are desirable, provocative, and dangerous - sometimes they are nurturers and healers with the most powerful medicine.
From a very young age, Chemehuevi women are taught that their innate strength as a woman and life giver is all-powerful, maybe sometimes even supernatural, and we are respected as equals in Chemehuevi society. We hold power in government and historically in battle. This unique perspective shows up throughout my art. It is always my intention to visualize this inherent Chemehuevi belief in the all-powerful, supernatural strength of women. It is a gentle but powerful shift to see Native women portrayed in this way from an indigenous female perspective.
- SHOUT OUT! Thank you so much to Cara Romero for these incredible images for our Sisterhood Is Sacred Feature.
*Issue 3 Pueblo Matriarchs Fashion Shoot photographer Leah Rose is Cara Romero's apprentice through the 2017 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship.