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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Indigenous Adornment site by Venaya Yazzie

Venaya Yazzie site description

Please visit and share my website concerning Indigenous Adornment which describes my specialized research and efforts in sharing and educating people and diverse communities about my tribal people's traditions and customs about adornment.
Follow this link:

Nizhoni Bears.

Nizhoni Bears made by Venaya Yazzie
Photo by YAZZGRL ART 2016

Its during this season that I take to the sewing studio where I am inspired to make my Blue Bird Bag - Nizhoni Bears.
Here I share my newest editions of my Nizhoni Bears. I with my aunt participate in the community holiday craft bazaars where we show and share our stories of the things we make. For me it is these bears and also my Nizhoni Blue Bird Bags too.
This new batch also includes some bears made of a poly/cotton blend material that looks somewhat like the famous Pendleton blankets. Each is unique in its creation and each carries my artist hallmark on them.
I make these Nizhoni Bears in the way of my matriarchs who also worked to reuse such items such as the Blue Bird flour bags. I currently have my bags posted for purchase on my Square Store account. Please follow link to view:

Generations of Desert Adornment

With my Masani'
Photo courtesy of Venaya Yazzie

Ever since I was a child I have seen my maternal grandmother 'adorned' in her cultural jewelry items.  She is now in her mid-80s and she still wears her turquoise and silver jewelry, this is her way.  And I do the same, for I feel that if I don't wear my southwestern cultural jewelry then I am not complete.
This tradition is rooted deep with many desert people of who have many generations of teaching about why one should keep turquoise on their person. As I have mentioned before, wearing turquoise for many goes much deeper that just looking beautiful in your adornment, for it concerns the spiritual.
Among the Dine' and the Pueblo peoples of the American southwest are a plethora of cultural stories and oral histories of the origin of turquoise adornment. For me it is much connected to prayer and protection. I feel that when I wear my tribal jewelry I am 'protected' by the traditions of my desert matriarchs and patriarchs.
I hope this winter season finds you well and in the good company of your family and clan relatives. I wish you a very wonderful Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kewa Earrings

I love receiving gifts especially when it concerns cultural jewelry, but more specifically when its earrings!

I really adore these new earrings gifted to me. Their were made by an artist jeweler from Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo) in New Mexico. They are made of pieces of abalone shell.

Just wanted to share some beautyful Indigenous-made jewelry with you!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tibetanportraits site

Tibetan female elder
Photo credit from Instagram via Tibetanportraits

As I have stated before, I am very interested in the global community of Indigenous people. I am also very much focused on finding the parallels that exist between those cultures and my own Indigenous desert tribal people of the Navajo and Hopi people.
Via social media sources I have been able to do my visual research on this topic. Of the many pages on Instagram one that is high on my list of favs is Tibetanportraits - which features the Indigenous people of the Tibetan region.
I recently found this image above which was posted by Tibetanportraits. This photo by far is fantastic. When I first saw this image I immediately recognized this elder, or should I say she very much reminded my of my own Navajo matriarchs in New Mexico. I love this image for many other reasons too, for one she eludes pure happiness and joy, how wonderful to see an elder smiling! Also I can see she is dressed in her cultural regalia and is holding some type of necklace or maybe a prayer necklace.
I continue my research on this topic of the similarities that exist among world cultures.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dear Warrior Water Protector

Prayers at the Animas River for
those at Standing Rock.

Dear Warrior Water Protector,

I write to share my support and blessings and above all my prayers with you.  I share my words with you from the desert homeland of New Mexico and I burn sage for you and pray those old prayers for your health and protection. Please know that though I don’t know you and may never meet you in person, know that I love you.  You are our beautyful ancestors in pure color, living and breathing and fighting for OUR Indigenous people.

You bless OUR lives with what you have chosen to do at Standing Rock.  You are my hero(es), you are a blessed nation of warriors. Creator God knows your plight – please know that OUR divine Creator is always with you - in your sadness, hurt and in your triumphs HE knows. For HE knew you before you were born. HE made you beautifully and wonderfully and He listens to your prayers. Please don’t stray from Him. Please don’t be discouraged during this terrible time you are going through, for Indigenous peoples are all going through with you. Keep your spirit strong and your head up, you are meant to be just where you are, it has already been written in the stars above.  You were born for this moment in time, to be the Water Protectors, to be that child of God that wears His armor of Hope, Faith and Love….. YOU make me proud, you make all of us humble by your actions. Tó eí Iiná.

I am a humble artist, and I do my best to speak for OUR sacred lands and for OUR elders, but I cannot be there with YOU at the front lines and for this truth I am sad and discouraged.  I currently care for my maternal grandmother and cannot leave her side, but I have told her about YOU and your brilliant and brave efforts.  She said to tell you she LOVES you ‘grandchildren’ and she will pray her desert prayers for you. I send you my LOVE and above all my full support for what you are amidst of there TRUTH! – I can only share my humble words of encouragement at this time.  I think of you ALL daily, and send you all the good ways and good thoughts.          BLESS  the PEOPLE.
In love & prayer,

V. Yazzie - New Mexico USA

Bless the Water Protectors

Credits for song screenshot found at Butchie Eastwood channel on YouTube

Relatives I am at a loss for words.

The situation in Standing Rock has hit a terrible low, my Indigenous Brothers and Sisters are being mercilessly attacked with brutal force and evil violence.  Last night the North Dakota Sheriff and his hired goons used water to attack the Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation lands. The temperatures in ND are in the low teens and so the intentional use of water as a weapon was done so to do harm - in ensuring the people would get cold and literally freeze while out there.  The military-style enforcement was also were firing concussion grenades at the People, those Water Protectors...some of whom were physically hurt.

This event has gone so far beyond just so called "guarding" the pipeline construction, for this is plain racism and about pure hate.  Such tactics are dehumanizing and blatantly acts of violence against Creator God's beautiful Indigenous children.

Many of us Native artists are feeling the pain on a spiritual level, I have been in a type of mourning all day, my heart is heavy and I just cry tears for my people... This moment in time is at a turning point - my Indigenous people in America are being terrorized just because they are wanting to ensure the waters of the Missouri River are not going to be contaminated from oil mining and oil production.

Since the first europeans arrived here, on this ancestoral Indigenous land - They have had ill motives, we heard the accounts from living relatives through oral history and now as 21st century Indigenous ancestors we are seeing the truth of the hate They have for us.

 I pray I pray I pray I pray  - for protection of the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. In the end Goodness outshines evil. So I share this Lakota Prayer Song and dedicate it to the warriors in ND.

(Credits for song found at Butchie Eastwood channel on YouTube.)

Bless the People.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Blue Bird Handbag made by Venaya

New Blue Bird Handbag made by Venaya
Photo credit: Venaya Yazzie 2016

Always in the fall and winter seasons I find myself wanting to sew. So, I have been making my Blue Bird Handbags again. Pictured here is a new bag I made. This one is made with the Blue Bird flour sack, duck canvas and varied additions of ribbon and lace. As will all my bags I work with 'up-cycled' materials which include the flour sack.

I will have this bag available for purchase - along with other designs on my Square space store. You can browse my site. Here's the link:

What Creator brings into my path

Holding my Masani's beautyful hands
Photo by Venaya Yazzie 2016

I recently crossed paths with an old friend - she was so surprised to see me! She said she wondered where I was or went to...she asked me "Are you still dancing?" We laughed because I guess we've both understand how we both have been busy with our lives.

Within the past several years I have devoted my time to  my grandparents. Since my paternal grandfather has passed on I devote most ( and all ) of my time to my grandmother. My life has changed much. I have bypassed those activities that once filled my time, including dancing a the local community powwows. I miss it, but I know I can always return when Creator brings that back into my life. Sometimes I'll look in my closet at my jingle dresses and occasionally put one on (just to see if it still fits..haha!) and think of all the good memories those beloved dresses hold.

I share this capture because it tells volumes about me in 2016. Today I am at the call of my 'masaani' - she is my immediate attention and most of what I do now is for her and with her by my side. As she travels that incredible road of old age, I am grateful and feel so very blessed to have the honor of caring for her.

I don't know what the future holds for me, but I have faith that Creator God has a plan for me and that is where I find my own 'peace.' I have my 'mamasaan' and I have my art - so, I am in a good way.

Bless each other.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Much respect Indigenous Veterans

Navajo moccasins worn by Venaya Yazzie
Photo credit: Venaya Yazzie 2016

Day eleven of my moccasin challenge.

In honor and respect I dedicate this blog entry to the U.S. Veterans who have passed on and to those who live.

My family has a history of members who have served in the American military. Collectively they served in the following:

Korean War - World War II - Vietnam War - Gulf War - Iraqi War

Words cannot describe how I feel for my family members who have served their country, for many of my Navajo family members the war was about protecting our Navajoland, our sacred places and our Dine' people.

Ahe'he. Thank you Brothers for what you have done.

In memory of of my late family members
who served in the Armed Forces:

George Chavez Sr. - Navajo Code Talker

Wilbert Werito - Korean War Veteran

Thomas Werito - Korean War Veteran

Johnny Black Sr. - Vietnam Veteran

Alfred Yazzie Jr. - Vietnam Veteran

Much respect.
Rest in Peace