American Women (dismantling the border) II (48″x60″) depicts the U.S. Mexico wall being dismantled by American Indigenous women (Comanche, Navajo, on the U.S. side; Aztec, Miztec, Mayan, on the Mexican side). Most borders which define Nation States — topics of such heated debate — were only recently built, created by Colonial conquest, and are false constructs: hastily drawn lines etching across and carving up lands inhabited for millennia by Indigenous peoples. Thus, it is the right of the Indigenous to dismantle the oppressive walls and artificial distinctions of the world: walls that slice through the heart of communities and ecosystems, the only function of which is fear based exclusion.
early on, the landscape and the people were one. It was their church, their cathedral. It was like a sacred building to them, but one without walls, tithes, or dogma. Nature had no need for sin, guilt, or redemption. Why should it? No Bible was necessary to mete out justice, form ties to the community, or force people to behave. The Indians knew right from wrong; they honored their elders, loved their children, and lived within a communal framework of work, cooperation, and tribal hierarchy. Prayer and observation were a part of everyday life. Everything in the sky or on earth was either male or female, because that was what the Old Man of the Sky and the Old Woman of the Earth taught them. If a man connected himself to the spirit of the land, he was said to be “living the right way.” From the Earth women learned about medicinal plants and herbs, earth provided food, shelter, and tools. The seasons reflected change, and women invented songs about their mystery.