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Indigenous Goddess Gang

Creating a space for sharing medicine through poetry, food & seed knowledge, herbalism, music and more. This is a space for reclaiming knowledge from an indigenous femme lens. Each month we will honor a different tribe of matriarchs in our fashion shoots. Each month we will continue to grow and share the knowledge of our matriarchs and share that medicine. 

Indigenous Goddess Gang is a space intended for INDIGENOUS people. We've had our land taken from us, we've had our cultures taken from us,  we've had our languages taken from us. This is a step towards reclaiming our knowledge, identity and medicine.  This site is not intended for exploiting or appropriating.  Tread lightly and respectfully. 

Sarah Liese

Sarah Liese

Criss Cross Angel

For my Mary Morez

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The first two poems are about Sarah's matriarch, Mary Morez. Mary was a world renowned Diné painter. The "Mary Morez Style" has been a significant influence in the development of other contemporary Indian painters. 

 

"My grandmother was a such a strong woman, with whom I've felt a deep connection with all my life. Lately, she's inspired my poetry, and I felt it would only be right to incorporate her artwork alongside my poetry."

 

Criss Cross Angel

 

A gray curtain of clouds parted

and let the streaks of light

kiss my skin. My amá sání,

she was amongst the sunlight

 

and the docile droplets of rain

the very day the church bells rang.

I was only seven, and

I had never known loss,

 

so mom pulled my hair back,

planted a kiss on my brow,

and led me down the symmetrical

aisle. We claimed our territory

 

in the southwest of the sanctuary,

and I burrowed myself under

mother’s thin, bird-like arms.

She offered safety, but terror

 

I took, unable to comprehend

the rapidness of death.

Her doleful, almond eyes,

blinked tears, and I felt every,

 

single one. It stung as if a

burnt edge was digging deeper

into my skin, and all I could do

was observe. Is that how

 

Grandmother felt lifting herself

up from her crutches only to

come back down? Armpits sore.

Body restricted from that foreign word.

 

Foreign, even to the Natives,

well at least to the Navajo Nation in 1940.

Father squeezed my arm,

signaling that it was my turn to read.

 

I marched up to the podium,

looking straight ahead at the microphone.

I wanted to be strong like grandmother.

I wanted to earn the respect of both worlds.

 

Flickering eyelids, then silence.

The reading ceased. My voice muted.

Then music soared, side to side, like a hawk,

grandmother’s reincarnation animal.

 

Bear you on the breath of dawn

And make you to shine like the sun

The flute married the gentle voices.

I trembled at the funeral flowers,

 

outlining the brightly colored canvas

grandmother once masterfully crafted.

Criss-cross lines across the painting,

intersecting figures connecting her two

 

separate realms. Then just like that

the flute faded, and the the rain

turned into in a steady hum.

Tan, Native faces hugged mom.

 

Eccentric artists waved their hands

on her back. And when they disappeared,

father opened up the heavy

wooden doors, and we left.


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Amongst the beauty

By: Sarah Liese

 

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.

My words will be beautiful…

 

-Prayer from Navajo Blessing

 

My grandmother wove

a corn maiden rug

to wish the invaders

a healthy harvest

 

One brown strand

Over

One white strand

 

One white strand

Over

One brown strand

 

 

 

The finished product

resting in their

white

bloody

hands

 

To them,

an attractive rug

To my grandmother,

a piece of her soul

 

 

But amongst it all,

There is beauty.

 

For amongst beauty, there must be love.

 

*   *   *

Amongst the beauty, I wipe away your tears, still damp from the avaricious invasion.

 

Amongst the beauty, we are mocked by the leader of our stolen land.

 

Amongst the beauty, he is hungry for our Bears Ears and stomping down

our Grand Staircase.

 

Amongst the beauty, water shall always be sacred for no pipeline shall be the

thief of survival.

 

Amongst the beauty, I wait for the sun to dry out the sorrow that has been dug

deep within our canyons.

 

Amongst the beauty, I sprint every morning to amplify the strength in

womanhood

 

Amongst the beauty, I ignore the degrading stares they give me like I’m a

mouthwatering piece of mutton

they placed over the fire

just to watch my hózhó

burn.

 

Amongst the beauty, I yearn to march proud with the fluorescent torch in

hand, shining as the

Sparkle Upon The Water

my amá sání imagined

me to be.

 

Amongst the beauty, we shall walk with the heavy load they placed upon our

shoulders, defining our

features and blooming

our resilience.

 

Amongst the beauty, we shall dance lively on the trail marked with pollen.

 

Amongst the beauty, nothing shall hinder us anymore.

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Leanna Pankratz

Leanna Pankratz

Melissa Bennett

Melissa Bennett

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