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Indigenous artists are often pigeonholed and face significant obstacles to being recognized by the contemporary art world. The Harlem, New York-based Shipibo Conibo Center is working to change the perceptions about Indigenous art and break barriers for Indigenous artists. According to the Center, their mission is to “[promote] and [perpetuate] the creative lifeways of the Shipibo-Konibo People of the Peruvian Amazon in such a way that [will] benefit its practitioners.


In Nepal, tattooing has long been an integral part of life, culture, and identity for many Indigenous communities, particularly for Tharu Indigenous women from the southern parts of the country. Tharu Indigenous Peoples live in over 20 different districts in the southern plains in Nepal. According to the 2011 Census, their population is 1.73 million. Tharu Peoples have their own district language, culture, rituals, customs, and lifeways.


In the Mariåna Islands, there is a word in the Chamorro language for a deep feeling of longing— mahålang. Mahålang has several translations, including the feeling of being lonely, missing someone, something, or some place; homesick. Growing up as a Chamorro in the continental United States, I always had this feeling of mahålang. Longing for a place I was not in, longing for a sense of belonging, longing for community. It was a deeply rooted, subconscious longing and missing of something I didn’t know how to define.


Lukretia Booysen (Griekwa, Nama) is an Indigenous changemaker and founder and curator of the Koena Art Institute, an Indigenous heritage preservation space, in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work is about more than preservation; it is a celebration of Indigenous people and their heritage. Booysen started in the arts about eight years ago after she was approached by an Indigenous artist who asked her to represent him, even though she knew little about art at the time.


Across much of Indian Country, Bruce Caesar (Pawnee/Sac and Fox) is well known for his exquisite metalwork and jewelry. With the meticulous attention to fine details that each piece reflects, Caesar’s metal creations are highly sought after, whether they are crowns adorning the newly named princesses of Tribal Nations, roach spreaders worn by male dancers, or the lucky customer who has managed to purchase his jewelry reflecting Native American church motifs like the waterbird.


Ida Helene Benonisen (Sámi) is a Queer spoken word poet based in Oslo, Norway. Together with Asha Abdullahi, a hijabi woman, they have created a venue, Blue Monday, hosting performances, poetry nights, workshops, and other community events every month. Benonisen’s projects unite Sámi artists and artists from other minorities to reflect the power of community, unity, and understanding through universal languages.


Standing in the hills overlooking the coast of England’s Plymouth Harbor, in the distance, a group of Wampanoag has gathered in a Bronze Age stone circle. It is small and humble compared to its cousin to the east, the famous Stonehenge, but it is intimate and well suited for our needs. About 10 meters in diameter, the stones stand only 3 or 4 feet in height, but unlike its famous cousin, this circle is nearly forgotten. We can fully walk within this sacred circle; we can touch the stones.


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