Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bizhi ba, warrior girl

Bizhi ba, warrior gir

born into the neck
of the full harvest,
Bizhi ba
took deep breath -
autumn's early chill filled
her lungs.

ripened green melons scattereed
horizon west. corn
stalk leaves
motioned the dawning sun
to rise,
rise, rise.

baby girl at first cry
held  her matriarch's hand
strong fingers full of

strong grip
that praised the day the brown
glistening infant girl
crossed the hold desert lands
to this
fifth world.

poem by Venaya Yazzie

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hand and Ring

photo by Venaya Yazzie

Photograph of my hand adorned with vintage Navajo turquoise and silver ring. This was taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Heirloom Navajo Pins

my hand adorned in heirloom pins
photo by Venaya Yazzie

These Navajo silver and turquoise pins are heirloom pieces, some belong to me and some to my grandmother. The turquoise is varied.

Coins and Velveteen and Navajo

Navajo woman adorned circa 1930s
Web photo

Here is a fine example of a Navajo women in full adornment. This southwestern Indigenous adornment was perpetuated by Navajo women of the 1930s and 40s era on the Navajo reservation.

My grandmother has many photographs such as this one. The woman pictured here is wearing a velveteen shirt adorned with silver dimes, or currency. Instead of fashioning silver into buttons, many women chose to use the shiny coins to decorate their clothing. Sometimes they would also use quarters, and later some Navajo women used the coins given by Anglo traders on the reservation.

After the U.S. government learned of such practices they announces that the Navajo could not longer "deface" American property, so this type of fashion faded out.

I adore this photograph.

respect the stone.

my turquoise collection
photo by Venaya Yazzie


turquoise for the Diné is meant to perpetuate hózhó. a good life. it us a stone that was gifted to us humble beings by the holy ones. it has a specific purpose in cultural ways of being (indigenous sw epistemology)& thereforeshould be respected. its not meant to promote the social ills of american pop culture....i.e. crudeness, violence, sexuality, drugs, etc. For if u'adorn' yourself w/ turquoise you are receiving blessings from Creator. please don't use it without prayer and reflection : it is an important element in cultural sw pueblo/diné dogma.

this *insight: frm masani is vital.always

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adorn yourself. Its medicine.

Wearing cultural jewelry is not merely an act of tangible adornment. Wearing Indigenous, southwestern jewelry, is an act of cultural sovereignty. Our turquoise is our survival, it is our prayers.

Bless yourself: wear your dootlizhi.

New book. Lloyd Lee, PhD

Venaya Yazzie with new book by Lloyd Lee, PhD.

Navajo scholar Lloyd Lee, PhD recently published his book titled, Dine' Masculinities and he asked for my art for his cover.  Get the book, its full of strong knowledge and insights. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Zuni-inspired earring adornments.

Photo by Venaya Yazzie

In my palm I told a precious pair of Zuni-inspired earring adornments. These earrings are vintage and are made of mother of pear shell with turquoise, coral and onyx materials.

Wrist adornments.

Photo by Venaya Yazzie 2014

Navajos have made and adorned their wrists with silver and turquoise bracelets for many years. This adornment of the self concerns not only the tangible, but the spiritual. Many Navajo understand that by wearing such items they will be blessed by Creator God. 

These bracelets are my own which I have acquired buy direct purchase or were gifted to me.

The matriarch.

Venaya Yazzie and her (grand)Mother.

My adulthood has brought me to the path of my grandmother, who raised me. She is the matriarch of our family and she is a blessing to me in every way.

The strong history she shares is healing, it is the history of our family, our Navajo people.