Follow Indigenous Adornment via email

Monday, September 26, 2016

Good earrings all around

Earrings made by Hopi Pueblo artist M. Honyouti
Photo credit- Venaya Yazzie 2016

Wearing earrings made by Hopi artist M. Honyouti

Imagination is the key to successful art.

In my opinion - the more diverse experience a person has the more complex and interesting their art is. The number of southwestern desert artists is abundant and so there is a wonderful variety of art in the Americas.

I have a the opportunity to explore and find new artists. I recently found a Hopi artist who makes these great earrings. They are so 'beautyful' and so very unique. I recently purchased these earrings from M. Honyouti who is an Arizona artist. He makes these awesome earrings and sells them online. ( His website is at )

With each art piece I purchase I find it like adding a new family member. These earrings are my new favorites, and I wear them with happiness. For me this is about 'adorning' oneself with the spirit of creativity and therefore an act of Indigenous Adornment. And too, its a birthday present for myself - today is my birthday!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Water is Life

Capture from  National Native News email
Photo credit of Grand Canyon, AZ - Jonathan Zander

Today I post this capture of the news coming out of 'Indin' Country.' These stories are so very relevant in these chaotic times in America. My Indigenous people are still here and WE collectively are doing the best we can to survive and stomp out colonialist tactics.

Everyday we stand up for ourselves and other Indigenous nations in the Americas - as of now many of us are standing as 'Protectors' of ancestral Indigenous lands. The Dakota Sioux people at the Standing Rock reservation are currently holding up a campsite in North Dakota in defense of their land.

They stand as united voices or ALL human beings, only asking for the waters of the Missouri river to be protected from an oil pipeline.

The society WE dwell in America has chosen to forget Us Indigenous -for they failed in their genocide against us, we are so very strong in our spiritual ways, in our prayers, in our ceremony - we are the chosen people of Creator, only He can take us from this earth.

I wanted to share this expression with you on this blog because the message is so very important and is not being told on national media news. OUR Indigenous story is still strong because WE Indigenous still live.

Water is Life. Believe it!

-Blessings All Around-

Friday, September 16, 2016

Yazzgrl Art beadwork creations

Yazzgrl Art beadwork creations
Photo credit: Venaya Yazzie

Yazzgrl Art beadwork creations
Photo credit: Venaya Yazzie

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dine' expression of corn

Cornfield blessings
Photo credit: Venaya Yazzie 2016

Naadaa. This is the Dine' expression of 'corn.'

For the desert southwest people, corn is everything. For many of us corn is a living entity. For the most part we look as the existence of corn as a blessing to us, and to our daily ways of being. We use the corn tassel or corn pollen for our prayerlife and to bless the children. We use the corn stalk leaves for rolling mountain tobacco, again for our prayers. And the corn itself is utilized in a plethora of different ways from consumption to the details of ceremonial life.

Corn along with water are very important to our lives. For, without water, we would not be able grow this 'beautyful' plant. In every aspect of our Indigenous desert lives, water is essential.

I feel it a very big blessing to be able to enter the garden and be among the corn and melons... I have grown these plants traditionally and from heirloom seeds that have been passed down from my great-grandmother and other of my relatives. I captured this 'beautyful' moment in time as I watered the garden. This moment for me was prayer in everyway.

In blessings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Expressions of Adornment

Expression of Indigenous Adornment
Venaya Yazzie

When I first began my blog concerning Indigenous Adornment, I looked only to the imagery of the past - For I adored the look of my desert matriarchs dressed in their finest tribal attire. I soon realized though that Indigenous Adornment also concerned the contemporary native males and females.

I believe we as Indigenous people, both men and women, wear our tribal jewelry and regalia as a means of celebrating our identity as tribal people. We wear cultural feathers, or shells, and also gems and minerals such as turquoise and jet as a way of stating our presence in the 21st century. I was fortunate to have been brought up in this way, my Navajo matriarchs instilled in me - the spiritual connection that 'adornment' brings - we as Dine' have our ancient language to confirm this act. This is 'ni hi zaad' which has direct  and distinct expressions to this act of 'adorning' oneself in a tangible and spiritual way.

It is true though that we are not all like this though, for many of us Indigenous have assimilated fully to the American culture (society) so many of us do not wear our cultural adornments. This is okay too, for maybe they find other ways of celebrating their Indigenous identity.

The importance of material expression of cultural jewelry/ items is I think a very essential part of one's life in the modern world - we as Indigenous must keep a hold of our tribal people's ways to survive and strive. For me its about the perpetuation of of our unique identity, it is an act of being resilient.

hozho naasha.

The Role of 21st Indigenous Femme

Photo credit via Instagram from Sinchitribe user

I am very moved by this image. I got this capture from Instagram posting @Sinchitribe - which is a gallery that post images of Indigenous people.

Today I am very much in thought about the ways that Indigenous people globally, but specifically in the Indigenous in America daily perpetuate 'matriarch.' As I've mentioned before in my blog I was raised with my desert Navajo matriarchs all around me. My maternal grandmother raised me, and I remember always seeing my great-grandmother in my peripheral Navajo patriarchs were also a part of my upbringing, but it was the woman, always the women who ensured the ways of the matriarch.

In 2016 I am fortunate to still have some of my matriarchs in my life- from them I gain new knowledge and an able to hear the conversations of the female language from them. I cannot express fully the good medicine such environments bring to my being, it is beyond my comprehension. So much of the time I am silent in their presence, for that is respect but also it is about listening to their voices uttering ancient language of Dine' ancestors.

Women in 'Indian Country' are the most amazingly strong and resilient women on the planet - we as female entities, and as tribal matriarchs are the backbone of our communities. But, be sure we are not ego-lead, instead we understand our roles in Indigenous life and we find and perpetuate that 'balance' that is essential for healthy, prosperous Indigenous circles.

Bless each other with your laughter and prayers.

Monday, September 12, 2016

In Solidarity with Standing Rock #NODAPL

+  +  +  +
Protect sacred sites, protect Indigenous lands and water

> > > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -I>

Relatives, the time has come for the unity of my tribal nations. The time has arrived for many of us Indigenous in the 21st century to unite and support each other. Whether we are Apache, Umatilla, Seneca, Seminole, Yurok, Metis, Navajo or Pueblo... - We all must all be there for each other.

The time is here for us to kick apathy to the curb and, stand up and support the brothers and sisters at the Standing Rock Dakota Sioux community -for they exist at the Sacred Stone encampment in North Dakota as children of the Earth, descendants of great warrior people, men and women who fought to protect the land.

For a couple of days last week, American national news has covered some of the activity at Sacred Stone encampment, and they have reported on the situation of the installment of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but in my opinion not enough. As the government (who is back by the leading corporate banks) has decided to put an oil pipeline through a portion of Indigenous Sioux lands, the water that runs as the Missouri river is in limbo. The fact that an oil pipe would be put near a life-giving source is stupid. Corporate entities do not are about human health or safety, for they in their actions have disrespected the Indigenous tribal sovereignty of the Standing Rock Dakota Sioux people and furthermore the entire community of human and animal life who utilize the waters of the Missouri river.

Today many Indigenous brothers and sisters, children and elders and also non-Native Indigenous people have gathered at the Sacred Stone camp in ND. They are there not at "protestors" as the national media has labeled them - they are there as PROTECTORS of the people and the land and of the sacred sites and burial sites. The Indigenous people are simply standing up for their ancestral lands to ensure the waters are not polluted by the installment and implementation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Please, please do your research on this 21st century injustice. WE the Indigenous people love our lands, WE (many of us) hold the land sacred in our lives and WE protect our lands from evil people with bad intentions, who in the end create and perpetuate bad situations.

I as a Dine' / Hopi woman, as an desert person, as a modern Indigenous artist fully support my brothers and sisters at Standing Rock at the Sacred Stone camp. Though I cannot be physically present there, I send my prayers for protection and strength of my Indigenous.


September blessings- artist residency with Dancing Earth Creations in Colorado

Durango, CO

Indigenous femme artists: Venaya and Rulan Tangen,
Dancer Dancing Earth Creations

Mandala-inspired art creation by Venaya Yazzie.

The month of September has brought many blessings for me. The one blessing came in an opportunity to work with gifted artist Rulan Tangen. She is the founder and dancer of Dancing Earth Creations and world renowned dance troupe from Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

I was able to work alongside Rulan and her community of dancers, artists, elders and the art community of Durango in southwestern Colorado this passed week. During time we all collaborated on a plethora of art projects. I was able to be my full creative self and designed and implemented an interactive community mandala-inspired project. at the Center of Southwest Studies on the Fort Lewis College campus.

During this time I located and gathered various desert flora and fauna, including rocks and sand and also water from the Animas river - and make this temporary art installation piece pictured above. In the end this piece was used as inspiration for Rulan and her dancers and incorporated in her performance.

Each moment of this project as inspired by the season and nature. I am very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such brilliant, creative Indigenous minds.

Indigenous artists bless

 Indigenous artists: Esther G. Belin (Poet), Gary Farmer
(Actor/Musician) and myself Venaya Yazzie

Greetings Friends and Relatives in and out of Indin'Country! The season of Autumn is here in the high desert southwest, I feel to very blessed to be amidst all of the change.

I share this image with you because it reveals the modern Indigenous artist(s). I have been blessed to have been a part of the annual Indigenous Fine Arts Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe, New Mexico again. This year the market took place August 18-29 in Santa Fe, NM in the SF Railyard District.

During those two-days I again was able to meet new people and re-connect with Indigenous artists. We all where their to show and sell our art, but also to unite and support each other. This IFAM experience has been a blessed one for me since its inaugural introduction in 2014. I plan to do be a participant in this market every year.

I love this capture for it depicts three modern Indigenous artists: Esther G. Belin (Poet), Gary Farmer (Actor/Musician) and myself Venaya Yazzie (Artist). Gary stopped by our share IFAM booth and greeted us and we all talked some about art and the market. He was genuine in his dialogue and expressed gratitude in being able to see all the Native artists in person at IFAM.

Though there was some turmoil at this year's IFAM event, we all got through it.
I look forward to next year because I know the real GOOD that IFAM brings to the autonomy and brilliance of the modern Indigenous artist.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

BlueBird Handbag

BlueBird Handbag made by Venaya Yazzie
Photo courtesy of Venaya Yazzie

I everything I create I strive to make it original. As I've posted before I was inspired to make these Blue.Bird bags by my grandmother, who was constantly re-using and thus making items with the bags.

With this new line of my bags I have decided on original screenprinting on the cotton fabric. Using black ink and the black ric rack and ribbon give definition to the new line of my Blue.Bird handbags. I also have added a handmade tassle for a signature.

Look for this new line at the Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial at Red Rocks State Park near Gallup, NM and at the Indigenous Fine Arts Market in Santa Fe, NM.