Candy Corn Jell-O Shots Mix the white layer first and fill your Jell-O shot cups about 1/3 full (about ¼ inch deep on a 2oz cup), then chill till firm. Mix the orange layer and fill the cups till they’re about 2/3 full. Keep in mind that you’ll need a little room at the top because you won’t be filling the cups to the brim with the final layer. After the orange layer has chilled, mix up the yellow layer and top off the shots. White Layer
his recipe was making the rounds online a while back and caught the eye of my good friend Jane, who shared it with a bunch of us girls via our Facebook pages. I thought it was a fun idea, but didn’t really think much else about it until a few weeks later when we were chatting about creating drinks for an upcoming changeof-seasons party. So, we decided to give this recipe a whirl to see if it was any good. It was fabulous! The light, summery flavors were a great contrast to the unmistakable colors of that annual fall sugar-fest tradition, the candy corn. If the candies tasted like the shots, I’d eat them as often as I could get them! Jane and I divided up the ingredient list and went off to buy what we needed. We decided to enlist our friend Kymi, a chef by trade, for help with cooking and drinking the excess liquor. After scanning the recipe, we had visions of a kitchen covered in gelatin powder, spilled liquids running everywhere and the three of us sauced to the gills. We were half right. The kitchen stayed pretty clean. Surprisingly, the recipe was really easy. After the trays were prepped with the shot cups, Kymi cooked up the first, white coconut-flavored layer and poured it into the cups. We had expected that the recipe would make more shots than we could drink, but we got about eighteen shots out of it.
Eighteen giant, spoon-worthy shots -kind of like little desserts, actually. If you’re looking to try these and need more, you could try pouring less into the cups, or double the recipe for a booze-tastic evening. Once the first layer was poured out, Jane and I thought we’d be a few hours before the second layer could be poured. Fortunately, Kymi knew that we could start the chill process by placing the shots in the freezer for a short time, then transferring them to the fridge (See? This is why we had her there). While the first layer set up in the fridge, we decided to make the second layer, the orange one. While the poured layers are firming up in the fridge, the next batch is cooling on the counter. When you’re ready to pour onto the existing layer, test the solidity of the first by dribbling just a bit of the orange on top of the coconut. If the layers stay separate, you’re ready to go! Pour out the second layer evenly to the first and chill again. Follow with celebratory “we-got-this” shots. Once the second layer was poured, the third was cooked up, and by the time the shots were firm, the final yellow layer had cooled on the counter and was ready to go. Shots were topped off evenly and even more were tossed back as the candy corn ones returned to the fridge. After a short time, they were ready to sample. They were fruity and fantastic! I’d definitely make these again for fall season parties, and they’d be perfect additions to a tasting party as a dessert due to the size. So take the recipe to the liquor store and make up a batch or three for your next event…you’re going to love them! •
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup Vanilla Schnapps Sprinkle the gelatin over the coconut milk and water in a saucepan and let sit for a few minutes. Heat over low, stirring until the gelatin starts to dissolve. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Cool till just warm. Stir in the vanilla schnapps.
Orange Layer 3 oz. pkg Orange Jell-O 1 cup water 4 oz. Orange sherbet (about one scoop) 1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps 3 Tbsp Butterscotch schnapps (optional) Orange food coloring (if desired) Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add sherbet while still warm and mix thoroughly as it melts. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and butterscotch schnapps. Add a few drops of orange food coloring to make the color more vivid if you want to.
Yellow Layer 3 oz. pkg Pineapple Jell-O 1 cup water 1/2 cup canned coconut milk 1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps Yellow food coloring (if desired) Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir till dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in coconut milk and vanilla schnapps. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring for more vivid color.
blankets to chill on with the lady or the family, creating a unique feel for this show. For the little ones, there’s even a baseball field fenced off with jumpers, entertainment, and a very summer there’s a quaint little show that goes down in Bosque Farms fire truck that sprays water over the field from time to time. that most Albuquerque car enthusiasts don’t Another distinctive thing about this show is know about. With classic cars parked on the the way awards are chosen: You are the judge. grass, food vendors, music, pretty girls in Ballot forms are available at the show cowboy hats and Daisy Dukes, and a tractor entrance booth and the people get to vote for category, the Just for Fun Car Show at the their favorite vehicles in each category, Bosque Farms Fair is the home of deep fried leaving the winners up to the people’s choice. everything, goats and hot rods. But be forewarned, the “Tractor” category can I have attended this event for the past few years and it seems to just get better and better get pretty heated. This show is open to all classes, but is every time I go. Now I know what you are mostly attended by hotrods and classic cars. thinkin’, yes there are a good share of trailer There’s even a category for best classic queens and resto-rods, and it’s not really a camper, so if you want to come set up camp at “rockabilly kustom kulture” scene, but the Kulture is growing here with a number of hot the show it is more than encouraged. The only thing I would suggest is that you bring shade rods, rats and sleds showing up at this event, and water. The Keller’s do not charge a fee, so including a few New Mexico clubs and club getting your car in to try and win an award is members from the Bombardiers, Rumblers, as easy as showing up before spots are full. and REK Kustoms that come to see what it’s The show normally starts around 8 a.m. and all about. Even though it’s held the same day runs until 2 p.m. as much larger car shows at the local casino This show is a real good time and a fun and other big automotive events, this show change from your average parking lot heat seems to boom well and draws quite the battle. If you’re looking for something differcrowd. ent next summer take a 15 minute cruise down In 1999 the Keller family from Bosque to the Bosque Farms Fair and check this little Farms took their love for the automobile and hidden show out. founded this event as a way to spice up the It’s held the 1st Saturday in August every local fair. Starting with just 20 cars in its first year. Next year will be the 75th anniversary of year, the Just For Fun Car Show has since the fair and the 15th Annual Just for Fun Car grown exponentially over the past 14 years Show, with plans for bigger automotive and is now sponsored by the community and entertainment and possible driving demonstravarious local businesses. Being responsible tions to be announced. Things are already in for over half of the public’s motive for going the works for next year and I see this being to the fair, having over 20 award categories the best show yet. and taking over more than half of the Hope to see you all there, bringing more of fairgrounds, this show is one of Central New the Kustom Kulture to the scene and showing Mexico’s best-kept secrets. There’s nothing that compares to a car show the masses something different! • held on grass. The cooler conditions encourage folks to walk barefoot and throw down
When we think about vintage, retro and Americana, we think about James Dean, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and kitschy Route 66 Diners. Not often do we think about a young boy growing up in Jemez Pueblo teaching himself rockabilly guitar, or a woman reimagining Diné philosophy through pinup style paintings, or a Tewa “Man in Black” with a slick, black pompadour. And yet in New Mexico, these are among the brilliantly creative individuals who are reinventing not only what it means to be an “Indian artist,” but also a style and time period from American history that was not always so diverse. During my time as a student at the Santa Fe Indian School, I must have heard the expression “living in two world,” at least a thousand times. Since then the school of thought has advanced to an understanding that
there is only one world, a world in which Natives are an immensely eclectic group of people enjoying the privilege of experiencing many ways of life at once, and through this cultural synergy comes organic expressions of those experiences, pure and uncontrived. I think nowhere is this synergy more evident
Model/Stylist: Dina DeVore (Pueblo/Diné) Photographer: Pinup-ology Kustom Photography Wearing: Virgil Ortiz Rezurrect Spine Vest, 2013 Leather Luxe F/W Collectiont Harley Davidson cutom painted by Ronni Jaramillo (Acoma Pueblo) Bernie’s Motorcycles, Grants, NM
than in this issue where a group of young Native artists, musicians and models have ultimately combined their Native experience with something that is iconically “American” to produce a wholly original creation: “Native Americana.” And just like rock ‘n’ roll, I think it’s here to stay.
xoxo, a l i v a D h a b Ungel r - edito
ext time you are cruising through the Southwest via Arizona and New Mexico, take a moment to reflect on the culture around you. At every stop you will enjoy the company of small town locals that embrace their mixed cultures in both traditional and modern ways. For Acoma Pueblo motorcycle enthusiast Tina Valdez, of Grants, N.M., that meant enlisting the help of a close friend and mechanic, Buddy Allen, to rebuild and remodel her cruiser. This entailed stripping her 2004 Harley Davidson Fatboy down to a basic white primer and then having it decked out in traditional Acoma pottery designs by her mother, potter Ronnie Antonio Jaramillo. To kick up the culture even more, she commissioned a custom leather seat by leatherworker and saddle maker Hazel Clawson, of Ramah, N.M. An embellishment of turquoise was then added as the final touch to this custom culture cruiser. The beauty of this bike serves as a compliment to its purpose. Built to commemorate the life of Acoma veteran Sam Juan Antonio, a prisoner of war during WWII, American hero and Tina’s grandfather. The custom saddle seat on Valdez’s bike bears the insignia of The Battling Bastards of Bataan, of which Antonio belonged. During the war, Antonio and his fellow soldiers were tortured and held captive for three years. He was left with a deep scar
under his chin from standing at attention for two days with a bayonet under his chin, and without the identity of finger prints after they were burned off by an electric fence during an attempted escape. Antonio lived with the emotional and physical scars of his service for the remainder of his life, but was proud to have served his country as an American and Acoma soldier. The first picture of Antonio after his release is an old black and white image that Valdez displays proudly, in which he is posing in uniform on an early model Harley Davidson. In a way this picture is a foreshadowing of the tribute his granddaughter would eventually bring about over 50 years later. At age 89, Antonio was recognized as the oldest American Legion Rider in history, which only illustrates his love for motorcycles that
spanned decades. The bike is an exciting way for Valdez to share her Acoma culture and her grandfather’s incredible story with the world. After serving a total of eight years in the U.S. army and four years in the U.S. Airforce, Antonio was laid to rest at the age of 92 in 2012. Valdez has spent years diligently fighting for recognition of her grandfather’s contributions during the war, and they are currently waiting on the final approval from the Department of Homeland Security for his Purple Heart medal. If you ever find yourself passing through Grants and you happen to see a cruiser that looks like pottery on wheels, hopefully it will remind you to give a nod to America’s Native heroes like Sam Juan Antonio. •
he lives in two mediums spanning over oil canvases three to four feet tall up to walls 10 to 30 feet in height, covered in acrylic latex paint. Seven years ago, Diné and Xicana artist Nanibah “Nani” Chacon picked up a paintbrush with the intention of translating her graffiti skills into paintings, something she’d only dabbled in previously. Since then, she’s heavily immersed herself as a painter and turned a freelance gig into a full-time career she focuses on from sun up to sun down. With the birth of her son seven years ago, Chacon experienced a complete lifestyle change. It was then she decided to move into a different medium -- oil paint -- from the one she practiced for 10 years, when since the age of 15 she utilized a spray paint can to camouflage bare walls. “One of my mentors as a graffiti artist was also a tattooer,” says Chacon. “It was though him I got exposed to the pinup style, from looking at old flash and reference books for tattooing. Once I discovered that style I was enamored with it. “But not only pinup, I really began to see it was that whole early 20th Century era of illustration. To be a commercial artist at that time you really had to be a well round and diverse artist. They really aimed to create a personality not
just an image. That was what I wanted to do with the women that I created.” A collection of her earlier pieces were shown shortly after she started tinkering in oils. Her first art show encouraged her to move forward with her art, even though she had previously shown in graffiti exhibits, where she live painted. “They were all very low brow and it wasn’t anything like a big gallery showing or anything like that, but it was definitely a good experience in putting my work out there and seeing the reaction of people,” she said. The native New Mexican has shown her pieces in the Santa Fe Indian Market for the past two years, as well as art shows around the nation, such as in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago. Through each piece Chacon provides the context for a narrative, basing her current pieces around Diné philosophy, where she views these ideas in a contemporary context.
“I was raised both on the Navajo reservation and in Albuquerque,” she says. “When I was younger I really thought of the way that I grew up as being in two different worlds. But now that I am older I find that less true. ”I am a product of the Southwest; I always have been. I have walked the same ground and lived under the same stars that my ancestors did. “In my art I aim to explore the notion of the contemporary context of our traditional thought and philosophy. I like the idea of presenting a contemporary relevance.” For more information about Chacon’s artwork, email her at email@example.com. •
xplosions and sounds blare from action-packed movies Diné artist Derrick “Woody” Bitsie has watched so many times he doesn’t even have to look at the TV screen to know what’s happening. These familiar sounds warp into background noise for Bitsie as he focuses on up to six acrylic paintings at a time on his living room floor, his long hair pulled away from his face. Acrylic paint splotches sit on a paper palate as Bitsie dabs his watercolor brushes into the colors that will transform the blank canvas into the visions he sees of the Madonna, hot rods, soulful Blues musicians and other American icons. “I love the Blues,” says Bitsie. “The images I recreate are images that portray an honest emotion. It could be love, anger, humor, pain happiness, or those I love.” Besides his newest collection of charcoal drawings depicting the likes of Etta James, Muddy Waters and Sam Cooke, one of Bitsie’s signature styles is to slip an image of a hot rod into a painting, such as at the feet of la Virgen. He says he appreciates that no two hot rods are alike, almost like people. The 28-year-old established his artistic mark in 2006 through charcoal drawings of Native Americans and Blues musicians. “It’s really about trusting my own sketches,” Bitsie says. His artwork evolved to one-color acrylic schemes, which led him to where he is now, adding old school and modern values to aged images of religious icons. It’s not to devalue religious icons, says Bitsie, explaining the
concept behind a piece he is working on now called “Vow of the Father”. He says the idea of the piece is to “show the mother and child sitting high above with light around them, as in religious icons, and a man kneeling, offering his faith to family when you have the demons and devils of today that tear families apart.” Bitsie say for him religious icons represent a basic value of family, and the undying love of a mother and the encouragement of the father. Bitsie honed in on his artistic skills in 2005 when he attended introductory to art and drawing courses at the former Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute. These classes served as Bitsie’s first stepping-stones to becoming a working artist. After a few classes, Bitsie compiled 20 of his images, consisting of drawings, 2-D designs and color theory ideas, into a portfolio and submitted it for admission into Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts, a college devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts and culture. After his acceptance, he turned his attention to studying art history, figure drawing, ceramics and introduction to sculpture for a year. But Bitsie says he gained more inspiration and insight from peers and their artwork than anything else. Bitsie's upcoming show, "Midnight Train to Memphis," is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 at El Chante: Casa de Cultura, 804 Park Ave. SW, in Albuquerque. For more information on Bitsie’s art or to view it, visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/woody.bitsie, or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. •
By Abigail R. Ortiz
ith a slicked back pompadour and his affinity for Johnny Cash, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and anything rockabilly, he refers to himself as the Tewa Man in Black. Native New Mexican artist Jason Garcia depicts the ever changing cultural landscape of his hometown, Santa Clara Pueblo, with earthy hued paintings on clay tiles and pottery. “It’s my documentation and observation of the Pueblo world that I see around me with the 21st century influence of technology, and that we’re still able to survive and to maintain our cultural traditions and life ways despite having television, cars, airplanes and cell phones on our belts,” he explained. One series of artwork documents the impact of popular culture, such as movies, music, comic books and graphic novels, on his Pueblo and its traditions. A second series details historical events that unfolded within the Pueblo’s past, comic book style. “A lot of it, in a sense, is an educational tool to tell old stories and getting them to educate the Pueblo audience and the non-Native audience,” he said. Traditional methods, carried on within Santa Clara for thousands of years, are practiced to hand make his canvases, tiles and pottery, from scratch. Garcia first digs up clay from pits west of the Pueblo, which he then dries, hand
tosses, removes impurities from and adds volcanic ash temper and prevent cracking. Upon preparing the light chocolate brown clay, Garcia rolls it into one long roll and places coils of the roll on top of each other, also called the coil method, to build pottery. Natural pigment tones of yellow, orange, red, grey, white, tan and green are gathered from locations throughout the Land of Enchantment, as well as southern Colorado and northern Arizona, before they are prepared for the piece in mind. Once each piece is completed, Garcia places the pottery or tile inside of a metal tin box, which he gradually heats to about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit by burning cedar wood underneath the box. The Tewa artist fine-tuned his two bodies of work during 2007 when a fellowship from the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe allowed him the resources to focus on developing his ideas into artwork full time. Since then, he’s gone on to study at the University of Wisconsin for a master’s degree of fine arts in print making, which he is still attending. The 40 year old grew up drawing pictures of the characters he enjoyed as a child, such as G.I. Joe and Star Wars, in pencil, marker or crayon, as well as ceremonies within the pueblo. As he grew up, he began sculpting clay
figurines, but it wasn’t until 2001 when he started along the creative path he leads now. Although Garcia’s heritage sprouts from an artistic and creative family of potters, his inspiration behind his series comes from Pablita Velarde, another Santa Clara member. Velarde used natural pigments in her artwork to describe the effects of the outside world on Tewa culture, which Garcia said he is continuing. For more information about Garcia’s artwork, visit his website at www.OkuuPin.com or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OkuuPin. •
very industry in New Mexico is filled with tons of talented artists and diverse cultural influences, with the world of tattooing being no exception. Diné tattoo artist Elvis Shirley, of Navajo, N.M., grew up in a small one trading-post town surrounded by a wealth of traditional
Diné art. As a youth, Shirley recalls watching Diné elders at diners and pit stops who would create amazing sketches with nothing but a ballpoint pen and paper, which they would pedal for a few bucks here and there. “To onlookers it would seem like these guys were just some old drunks,” says Shirley. “But seeing these beautiful pictures they would make opened my mind to the fact that they had all this talent. Seeing a lot of these little things helped me to create my own bigger picture.” At age 16 Shirley moved to Gallup and became immersed in the graffiti art scene there, where he began to develop his painting skills that would help him evolve into a tattoo artist. Around this time he became a member of an alternative arts group called Foundations of Freedom, which include graffiti artists, canvas artists, dancers, and photographers. “We’re just a group of friends that are geared to pushing culture and open-minded thinking. I really give a lot of credit to my friends for my artistic development”, says Elvis. This open-minded thinking approach paired with Elivs’ experiences as a teenager led him to rebel against traditional cultural views and develop his own sense of “urban culture,” instead. He aims to not place boundaries on his abilities, and not to settle or conform when it comes to his art. “It really does show in my tattoos,” says Shirley, who recently relocated to Albuquerque and as set up shop as a tattoo artist at Tinta Cantina. “I wouldn’t really say that my art is geared to a certain style yet. I have an open eye and an open view to everything that I do. “I view everything as a progressive state when it comes to art and life.” Artistically Elvis enjoys everything from grungy to polished. His personal style is what he would describe as combined realism and traditional, resulting in his own a neo-traditional style. •
f you’re a regular La Loca Magazine reader you know by now that New Mexico is a treasure trove of talented individuals, often found in the most uncanny of places. It’s no secret that each Pueblo and Native community is inherently bursting with art and creativity, but what you might not know is that these communities are not just the places where jewelers, potters and painters are spawned, they are also, so it seems, the place where some of today’s most dynamic rockabilly guitarists got their start. Featured here are Gerome Fragua (Jemez Pueblo) of Cowboys and Indian; and Tom Sanderson (Diné) of The Shadow Men, that recently signed with Rhythm Bomb Records.
Gerome Fragua picked up his first guitar at the age of 14, because, well, chicks dig it. “At the time, mid-school girls seemed more drawn to the guitar than the trumpet, which was what I played in band class. Seems like there are always women at the root of rock n' roll,” says Fragua. Though he credits his father and a
for started basics, the taught to ing up setas was a
few others getting him with the he says for most part he himself how play. Growin a rural ting such Jemez meant his youth little bit more isolated
than that of other kids his age from the city, so practicing guitar became a natural past-time for him. “I'd put on cassettes, remember those, of my favorite bands and try to mimic what I heard,” he says. “So that kind of lead to hours trying to figure out riffs and leads of songs.” Eventually, he says, he was drawn to rockabilly guitar for its simplicity and that there was no need for “overkill.” Fragua says he likes that rockabilly blends two very classic genres of music, country and old blues, which he identifies as two foundational types of music that
very artistic family,” he says. And it's their traditional songs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and murals that inspire me to create with my medium: Music.”
Tom Sanderson’s friends call him the Native Grady Martin, head hauncho of the Nashville A-team. If there were an Albuquerque A-team, Sanderson would be in it. Having just signed with his band, The Shadow Men, to Rhythm Bomb Records out of London, the horizon looks good for this kid from Phoenix who picked up a guitar at 16. “Rockabilly is really fun to play on guitar,” says Sanderson. “So that’s what got me into it. What inspires me about rockabilly music is that it’s got a lot different styles: Blues, country, jazz and hillbilly, all mixed into American rock can stand on. “I was turned on to blues at an early one.” Sanderson’s friend and owner of Hot age and found its passion-in-simplicity Damn Records, Jeremy McDonald, rememcontagious,” says Fragua. “Country is bers his philosophy of guitar being, “If you simple as well, but a bit more refined. want to be an expert lead guitarist, your first Clean tones and clear harmonies guitar hooks will sound stupid and cheesy. showcase it's musicianship. You’ll be relentlessly playing your guitar “So with rockabilly, it just until you fall asleep, and in some cases seemed like a no-brainer -already dozed off and drooling on the marry the conviction of blues strings until that shit sounds right!” with the refined licks of country. But The Shadow Men formed about a year even more so, it's just another music ago, comprised of Sanderson on lead guitar, that gets away from the blah of some genres and their self loathing rhetoric, Josh Garcia on vocals and rhythm guitar, Kendall Hamilton of string bass, and Sal and just has a simple good time Vargas on percussion. Their sound is a singing about things that make sense, ringing bell of authentic rockabilly. They like cars, money, beer, and women.” He believes that having grown up on then teamed up with Hot Damn Records, who records “the old way,” with “tubes and the reservation keeps him centered tape.” Since this auspicious beginning, the because he knows exactly where he group has recorded with and jammed with comes from and who his people are. “I'm proud to come from a people rich the likes of Edward Clendening and Barnyard Stompers. • with heritage and more specifically a
he moves in slow, precise hand strokes as she decorates a friend’s face for Dia de los Muertos. Ever so carefully, Pueblo/Diné makeup artist Dina DeVore purses her lips as she adds splashes of color and intricate designs, enhancing the traditional calavera face. By viewing DeVore’s twist on the Day of the Dead makeup, one would have never guessed she stumbled into makeup artistry as a favor to a photographer friend. He was hosting a photographer-model workshop but needed a makeup artist to place the finishing touches on the models. Knowing DeVore had an artistic background through drawing and painting, he turned to her. “He kind of opened the door for me and I found out I was pretty good at it,” she comments. The daylong event threw DeVore into makeup artistry by serving twofold as an intense crash course, where she learned quickly how to do makeup under pressure, and as a meet-and-greet, where she established a clientele who turned to her for their makeup needs at their own shoots. “I’m pretty much at a level now where I don’t have to look for work anymore. People come to me and it’s a great thing,” she says. Two years into it, DeVore leapt at the chance to focus on her craft full-time with a clientele base in Albuquerque that includes fashion photographers and publications, modeling portfolios and modeling agencies. Through the coats of eye shadow, blush and mascara, DeVore aims to accentuate a woman’s natural beauty and capture their personality. “I really try to work with it, not against it, in hopes of not losing the natural and true beauty of a woman. I would hate to disguise her and make her look not like herself,” she said. She strives to make models feel beautiful and confident within their own skin, to “keep that beauty alive within them,” which she’s found enhances photo shoots to another level. DeVore learned to paint as a little girl by decorating her grandmother’s pottery. Devore, who resides in Jemez Pueblo with her son, is drawn to Dia de los Muertos makeup for its combination of her two loves - painting and makeup. “I want to be known for the detail and quality of the work I do,” she says. “What inspires me is knowing that I can create and express myself so that other models can express themselves.” DeVore credits her Native cultures for influencing her style and achieving success throughout different mediums. “I was taught at a young age that everybody is an artist. I’ve always had that mind set that I am an artist, even before I did art, and I think that’s really helped me to be where I’m at now,” she says. For more information about Dina DeVore Makeup Artistry, email her at email@example.com. •
ucy is a freelance makeup and hair stylist from Albuquerque of Yaqui heritage who spent her childhood and early teenage years in San Diego, Calif. Not only is Lucy rich in her Native culture, this beautiful, talented Betty is also very involved in the local Albuquerque rockabilly community. When I asked Lucy what got her so involved with the rockabilly lifestyle she said it was the rockabilly and hot rod scene that she saw in her hometown of San Diego. Lucy’s mother belonged to a social club across the street from Chicano Park in Logan Heights where Lucy enjoyed watching the Aztec dancers while low riders drove by. “I was always there,” says Garcia. “She
would bring us to her social club meetings with live music and food.” It was then that she started to get involved in the California rockabilly scene in her teens, going to see bands such as Rancid and Social Distortion. “I got to see them play plenty of times. A girlfriend of mine was married to Big Jay, who did stage work for Rancid and played in Lars Frederiksen’s band. As a teenager we were little punk rockers and greasers. We had our own club, the ‘Devil Dolls’ at 16, highly influenced by Roy Orbison, Danzig and Social Distortion. At 17 Garcia moved to Grants, N.M., where she found it quite difficult to fit in. “I had pink hair and my clothes were different. Kids made fun of me and didn’t accept me. They thought I was weird,” says Garcia, who began to hang out at Bernie’s, a local bike shop in Grants where she met people who looked similar to her, accepted her and gave her the confidence she needed to be herself. This is where she says her modeling career got started when someone asked her to pose with his bike. “So while I was waiting tables in Grants at First Street Café, an old man, Eldon Gibson, a former Outlaw biker, was writing a story about his biker adventures,” says Lucy. “ He wanted to get some pictures taken of him and I for his book ‘Iron Cowboy’ that he published himself.” After seeing the pictures, Garcia thought since she was already familiar with pinup and rockabilly culture she might as well give it a go. “I took a chance with pinup, taking photos with David Moreno, who I still work with today,” says Garcia.“ I often claim to be the ‘original brown girl of pinup,’ because I remember being the only one.” •
Is a: Gemini And a: Cherokee/Hispanic Pays the bills: Stylist Loves: To make people shine and feel good about themselves! Has: A dog named Sugar From: Albuquerque Photo by:Loren Higgins Photography
was just a scroungy little punk kid trying to stand out from the crowd the first time I laid eyes on the Benally siblings, Clayson, Klee and Jeneda, of former Diné punk-band Blackfire. Blackfire was political and radical, but only because that was a position the world had put them in as Diné people growing up in Black Mesa, Ariz. during the late ‘80s when Diné of their area were forcibly relocated through the combined efforts of corporate and government entities with their sights set on coal mining.
I was awe-struck by the absolute passion of their performance and the messages in their music – the ethereal way Jeneda played her bass barefoot, eyes closed, hair flying, like she was harnessing thunder, her brother Klee wild-eyed and growling into the microphone like a man possessed by the anguish of generations of injustice, and Clayson drumming that pounding, tempestuous heartbeat.
Creating and performing music as their new band, Sihasin, drummer Clayson and bassist/vocalist Jeneda have entered a new musical venture. Jeneda and Clayson formed Sihasin after losing their lawsuit with the U.S. Forest Service, in which they contested the environmental and human health impacts of wastewater snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks, a site also sacred to the Diné and over 13 other sovereign tribes. But, the Benally family’s career using music to inspire profound change perhaps began the day they returned home to Black Mesa from a shopping trip to find a barbed-wire fence running through their sheep
corral, cutting off their hogan from not only their grazing lands and family, but a house they were in the process of building. This was during the time of the Hopi-Navajo land dispute in which 14,000 Diné were relocated from their homelands. This occurrence was a traumatic moment for their entire family, but one they did not take laying down. “For me, music is the most incredible outlet for the frustration, the anger and the despair I had growing up,” says Jeneda. “So for me, music was a way to creatively express that in a way that was positive, in a way that could maybe get the word out, bring awareness to this issue that was happening to our people.” All self-taught musicians, they began playing instruments that were bigger than they were. Clayson began drumming at 8 years old and his sister remembers not being able to see him over the drum set. At 13 Jeneda bought her first bass. “The bass has the most intense emotion of any instrument I have ever heard,” she says. To her, she says, the bass’ emotion translates into a voice. In a sense, show business was in the siblings’ blood, coming from a father who did a stint in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and a mother, whom they call a “folky,” who spent her youth working in clubs amongst the likes of Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. However, their mother was clear that if they wanted to be musicians they weren’t getting any help from her. But, after they scraped together enough money to buy instruments and form a band, Clayson says she was just relieved “we were only hanging out with punks.” Those punks were Joey and CJ Ramone. As the story goes, Jeneda, the eldest of the brood, got a chance to watch the Ramones in concert with Social Distortion in Flagstaff with a friend
and was so inspired by their show that afterwards they packed up their car and drove all night to see their next show in Austin, Texas. “I was really inspired by the Ramones because I thought they were a family band,” said Jeneda. “So I wrote a note to them saying, ‘I’m in a family band too.’” When she got back to her hotel, CJ Ramone called, informing her that he was “so sorry, but we aren’t a family, those are just our stage names.’” After recovering from her disillusion, Jeneda and her friend went to the hotel where the Ramones and Social Distortion were staying, and from that point forward Jeneda says CJ become her “rock, mentor and brother from another mother,” and he and Joey became part of the family. Clayson remembers Joey as being something like an uncle and his last recordings appear on the Blackfire album “One Nation Under.” “I used to hang out with Joey in New York, Saint Mark’s Place, and play video games,” says Clayson. “I
always felt like I was his caretaker in a sense. I don’t know how to explain it. To be a 16-year-old and having to be the rational, sane person being like, ‘No Joey, come on,’ or just keeping him out of trouble.” It was CJ who produced Blackfire’s first album and helped define their sound, says Clayson. Upon loosing their lawsuit with the Forest Service, being counter sued and also witnessing the degradation of the San Francisco Peaks, Jeneda and Clayson again turned to music to process their despair. “It was a really devastating period of my life,” says Jeneda. “I had spent so long being angry and I wondered, what now? What comes after all of this anger? I’ve always used it as a tool, as a way to communicate, it’s always been fire for me…We realized that hope has to come after that anger.” After performing for 21 yeas as Blackfire, Jeneda and Clayson have delved in their new band, Sihasin, winning Best Rock Song in September at the Indian Summer Music Awards. They say they wanted to focus on empowerment with Sihasin, and making people dance. “Music has been an amazing platform, not only for networking but to have our voice heard and represented at the United Nations in Geneva when we were traveling in 1999,” says Clayson. “The music for us is a way for showcasing and allowing the rest of the world to see we are still here as Native people. These are the things that are important to us, this is what we’re talking about.” One of the songs on Sihasin’s album “Never Surrender” is “Let’s Dance Again,” a punk song composed entirely in Diné.
“For us it’s not so much of merging, it’s who we are,” says Jeneda. “We are both the traditional person and the contemporary person.” The name of the album also came naturally. “We can’t surrender,” says Clayson. “I have a 5-year-old daughter and have that sense of responsibility to her, to future generations. We always have to continue moving forward and trying to do something to change it in a positive way. “And that’s exactly what ‘Sihasin’ means, is to do something in a positive way, in a hopeful, positive way.” •
Cochiti Couture by Ungelbah Davila
f you caught yourself eyeing the sleek leather dress and jacket or the rock star jeans on the cover of this issue, let us introduce you to the designer, Cochiti Pueblo artist and fashion designer Virgil Ortiz. For Ortiz, history and the future have merged together in a vivid world of blind archers, “Venutian soldiers” and a completely reimagined Popé. Drawing inspiration from the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Ortiz, combines his mediums to tell the epic story of Popé, set in the year 2180. To flesh out his retelling, Ortiz, something of a one-man band, seeks out models to represent each character of the story, costuming them in his own fashion design and photographing them himself. To accompany these characters are clay figurines representing them, which he also creates, drawing from a long ancestry of acclaimed Cochiti potters. And all of this, he says, is leading up to the eventual unveiling of a movie script he was been perfecting for several years. “My mission is to first of all keep the tradition of pottery making alive, because it is a dying art in Cochiti, and at the same time tell the whole world the story of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, the first American revolution,” says Ortiz. “Because none of that is told in history classes, America doesn’t really know about it at all, but when I work in places like Amsterdam or Paris or Prague, they already know the story of 1680.” Ortiz says he has developed the superhero theme to interest Native children, give them something to look up to and use as an educational tool. “Clay is the core of all my creations,” he says. “Water feeds the clay; the sun feeds the wild spinach plant. Fire awakens the wild spinach plant, binding it to the hardening clay. The wind unfurls the cloth, inspiring my fashions. My work gives voice to these elements, revealing unexpected statements.” “Unexpected” is right. Ortiz’s clay figurines are a far cry from the demure Cochiti storyteller dolls many associate with the pueblo. Among Ortiz’s pottery can be found figurines of corseted women with nipple rings and a good handful of risqué beings designed with S&M overtones. But, Ortiz says in a sense his work is not really pushing boundaries at all, but embracing the history of this art form. Cochiti potters, says Ortiz, have been making figurines since at least the turn of the century when the railroad came through the pueblo. He says they were created as social commentary
inspired by things happening in the community at the time, and when the railroad brought in traveling circuses it was not uncommon for artists to depict characters from “freak shows” in their work. It was also not uncommon for them to be as big as three-feet tall or to depict sexual scenarios. He says that compared to some of these old figurines, his work is tame, though still a commentary on the modern world. Utilizing leather, vinyl and latex, Ortiz’s fashion designs are in some ways as daring as his pottery. He says leather is his favorite fabric to design with, creating a bold appearance in his newest line, Leather Luxe, which debuted at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles in June. In the epitome of lucky breaks, during Indian Market of 2002, Ortiz received what he thought was a prank call from someone pretending to be Donna Karan. But later in the day Karan, with an entourage of assistants, breezed into Ortiz’s Santa Fe boutique, Heat. She showed him her 2003 collection and informed him that she wanted to incorporate Pueblo pottery designs onto her garments. A short time later Ortiz was on a flight to New York City where the fashion mogul herself would mentor him. And for anyone with an ear and an eye for rock ‘n’ roll, be sure to catch Lynard Skynard’s Last of a Dyin’ Breed tour, they might just be rockin’ the Leather Luxe look. •
(Editor’s Note: A dialogue addressing cultural appropriation in America, and in pop culture in particular, is a necessary one, and one we must not shy away from as an evolving and relatively new civilization. It is our right as Americans and human beings to participate in these difficult discussions, and for every side that wishes to be heard be listened to with respect. In this way we have chosen to give burlesque performer Tomahawk Tassels, of Cherokee decent, a platform on which to share her experience as a target of extreme controversy regarding her American Indian-inspired performances. Because of space we have chosen to publish her interview in part. To read her entire interview, visit: www.lalocamagazine.com/tomahawktassels) Vivian MirAnn: Would you like to share your ethnicity with our readers? Tomahawk Tassels: I am Cherokee and Irish. Cherokee on my father's side, and Irish from my mother's side. My Native side of the family is all based in Indiana, where I was born. VM: Would you say that you started out in burlesque with a particular style or mission in mind, or were you all over the map until you found your signature style? TT: Well, the show I auditioned and was cast for, "The Alley Cat Revue," was a contracted show, performing weekly in downtown St. Louis. We were a "Girls from Around the World" show. I was originally cast to be the "geisha," as I do have pale skin, thanks to my Irish heritage, and dark hair and what would be considered exotic features, again thanks to my Native heritage. So I started out doing something that was totally not me at all, but fit with the show… The summer of 2006, I came to Minneapolis to visit for the summer and was in a very severe bicycle accident in which I landed on my face. Three surgeries later I was finally able to return to St. Louis. I wanted to perform again. Well, to my
dismay, I returned and my production manager informed me they had hired a "real Asian." She was a tiny, sexy Japanese girl by the name of "Sake Tumi." I clearly couldn't compete, and I didn't want to, as I am not even Asian. But, I needed to represent a nationality for the "Girls from Around the World" show theme. I knew right away what I wanted to do. I wanted to represent my Native heritage, as I grew up in Oklahoma and have always been very proud of my Cherokee roots. I dreamed up an act in which I would have a life-size canoe and do a striptease inside it, as well as a hunting act, among others. That was the true beginning of "Tomahawk Tassels," the perfect combination of cheeky stereotyped Native imagery and sexy burlesque performance art. For me, at this point, it was really about finally making a controversial statement, not just being a seductive performer. VM: When I first saw you onstage at “Show Me,” you started your performance piece in a Native-inspired buckskin-style dress and using a canoe prop. It just captivated me on so many levels from the second your lights came up, and I just couldn't help thinking that I was witnessing the Land O'Lakes girl come to life. You were whimsical, thought provoking, and wholly blew me away. You took the flat, one-dimensional cardboard cutout of an “Indian” woman and brought her to life on your own terms, in your own vision and as a tool for self- and cultural-exploration. And you eventually, and unfairly, ate shit for it. What the hell happened? TT: Well it's funny you bring up the Land O'Lakes girl. I actually have an act that is a parody of that called "Land O'Fakes," in which I am basically the real-life version of her, poking fun at both fake food and food substitutes and fake culture, as well as the white-privileged stereotype, which has been used for production and consumption for and by a mostly white audience/market. I received an extreme amount of criticism from certain members of the Native American community who find my acts offensive. These critics began posting endless hateful
and derogatory comments, messages, and posts on my Facebook page. It literally all happened overnight. Soon the haters and their verbal attacks were multiplying, and they began to bully and overpower my pages with their opinions and threats. We're talking hundreds of comments and posts; all very misogynistic, hateful words. From complete strangers, many of whom were from other states, other countries, and who had never seen me perform. There were a few physical confrontations, as well. I was harassed and loudly made fun of and laughed at on the light rail station, on the way to a Native demonstration at the Mall of America. Later that evening, I went to a powwow, where I was spit at, yelled at, asked, "What the fuck are you doing here?" and told I needed to "go home," that I "didn't belong here." It was traumatizing. I hadn't been to a powwow in years. I was publicly shamed and humiliated. Every time I got online, the attacks continued. This all came about because of my involvement as an organizer for Idle No More, the indigenous people's movement to protect the water and the land. I was involved as a concerned citizen, and an activist who identifies as Native in my personal, every day life. Some of my fellow organizers, whom I was working directly and personally with on projects, found out about who I am as an artist and my onstage burlesque persona and were outraged. They were not open for discussion or respectful debate, but rather were fingers pointing blame at me for atrocious things such as rape and violence towards Native women. This became especially significant in light of the recent trouble getting the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) passed. The statistics of rape and violence toward indigenous women have been quoted to me incessantly. But as a burlesque performer who is proud of her heritage and promotes body positivism, this was a shocking response. As a performance artist, I show up and visually present something; A concept, an emotion. The danger is that my performance art is absolutely controversial, and as a visual
performance artist, I am not given a voice to explain those concepts, to help the audience interpret those emotions. I have posted and reposted my artist statement so many times over the years, but you can't explain it to every single audience. And what about those who simply find me online, see me in a photo, or stumble upon a Youtube video? Or those that only saw a few seconds of my act on "America's Got Talent"? It is one of those things that I usually just leave for them to figure out. This is where the problem, I believe, began with the haters. The problem was, many of the haters had never even seen a burlesque show, and so they had absolutely no context and clearly no understanding of the art form. Burlesque is a sexual and social political commentary, told through a theatrical parody. It is intentionally stereotypical and overtly seductive. The other issue is that most of them don't believe that I have Native blood. Due to my Irish side, I admit I look very white. But growing up in Oklahoma, surrounded by Native American culture, including the stereotypes, and a deep sense of pride, I have always held my Cherokee heritage very dear to my heart. It has always been a part of me, which I respect and cherish, and have grown up believing I should be proud of, regardless of how white I may look. It's in my heart and soul. VM: In the end, you moved away from what many of your fans saw as a celebration of your heritage, an exploration of culture and identity, as well as your personal medium with which to tell your story. You mixed compelling themes with cheekiness, and ultimately was forced to abandon this out of fear. Can you elaborate a bit on this? TT: Eventually, the threats continued and worsened. People were threatening to murder me, beat me on the street, scalp me or cut my hair off, attack my friends, family, house, and even to burn down the theaters I perform in, as well as physical threats to the other burlesque performers I work with. Out of fear for my safety, I posted a public statement in which I chose to suspend all Nativeinfluenced burlesque acts. I have not broken that promise and still stand by it. My hope was that by making the public statement, doing interviews for magazines and making it known I had raised the white flag of surrender that my haters would calm down and leave me alone. On the contrary! They still weren't satisfied, and continued to make demands. They wanted to me change my name and erase all images of myself online. This would be near impos-
sible, being that there are thousands upon thousands of images of me and I use my name every day. They basically wanted me to erase and deny my Native heritage. Shortly after releasing the public statement, some of these critics actually organized a protest outside one of my shows, even though I had made it clear I would not be performing anything Native-related. It got to the point where I didn't know what else to do. It hurt. The wound is still very deep and painful. I cried for weeks, every day and night, and felt like I lost the part of myself I was most proud
of. Things have since died down, although I still regularly receive hate mail and rude comments. I would love to perform a Nativeinfluenced act again someday, but it remains an extremely emotional topic for me. And obviously, my safety is a No. 1 concern. I have no problem putting myself on the line for my art, but when your life and your very livelihood are threatened, it changes everything.
VM: Lately people have gone into apoplectic fits if performers don't handle outwardly cultural costuming or settings exactly the right way (or their way). It’s causing divisions throughout Burlesque as well as backlash. Some are almost paralyzed with fear that they’ll be blacklisted by those rapidly gaining voice and power in the community. As a Native American woman and performance artist, how do you feel if you see a performer in Native-style dress, or an act based on Native culture? TT: I think it depends. If the performer is of Native heritage and is clearly showing pride in our culture, I see no reason to be offended. Many of the performers I am inspired by from the past were of Native blood and were demonstrating their pride, as well as challenging the sexual stereotypes by wearing headdresses, normally reserved for men only -- the headdress on a woman is a whole separate issue. But I see it is an expression of celebration and love for the culture, and the aesthetic, which I find to be absolutely beautiful. It is a little harder to swallow if the performer is obviously of no indigenous descent, and that is where I have observed people mostly getting offended. The thing is, the haters believed me to be just that: A white girl pretending to be Native. A "pretendian," as they liked to call it. Because they made that assumption, they wanted to discredit my whole message as an artist. Basically, my response is that it comes down to the artist’s intentions. If the act is done in a spirit of pride and cultural awareness that is different than a performer who is performing with hatred or ignorance. You are right in that the whole cultural appropriation topic is recently a sensitive issue. But if you look at burlesque as an art form, from the beginning to present-day performances, it is a genre full of "cultural appropriation." Basically every nationality, heritage and culture is represented, and parodied, onstage. I don't see this as the performer making fun of that culture, whether they are of that heritage or not. I see it as a way of poking fun at the stereotype. As performance artists, we take something and exaggerate it, make it outrageous and overtly ridiculous, for the sole purpose of highlighting and drawing attention to the silly judgments, assumptions and unfair perceptions around that subject. We cover it with glitter and ham it up. Rather than hiding and cowering in shame, we boldly present it onstage, strutting our stuff and telling the audience that it’s okay to laugh because laughter is not only good medicine, but also a gentle eye-opener for those that might never have even noticed there was an issue. Never is the burlesque performer supposed to be taken literally. Never is it intended to mock other cultures in a negative way, especially when it is your own culture! •
To read more about Tomhawk’s story, visit her blog at: tomahawktasselscultureandcontroversy.blogspot.com
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s the tequila flows and dancers float softly between gravestones, the living reminisce and wait for the arrival of their honored guests. Enticed by savory sweet treats and the thin trail of incense smoke, the guests follow a golden ceiling paved in the sweet smell of death marigolds. As the strike of midnight signals the last day of October, the dead rise and the fiesta begins. For three days, this spookily good party in honor of Dia de los Muertos rages on in cemeteries and homes across central and south eastern Mexico. Emerging from indigenous roots, Day of the Dead has transcended into mainstream pop culture, being celebrated all over the country in many different ways. But Burquenos are already familiar with this. We've been painting our faces as the pale sunken-eyed calaveras for years, and in a culture as rich in Mexican heritage and tradition as ours, the dead are sure to rise. Primarily believed to have stemmed from Aztec origins, University of New Mexico alumni Dr. Anselmo Torres Arizmendi explains that it is hard to identify exactly which group started the practice as many indigenous cultures in the Americas celebrated their dead in similar ways. “We used to have different cultures of Native peoples with different names, with different languages but with the same polytheistic Gods,” explains Dr. Torres. Considering themselves immortal, these indigenous cultures believed in a vertical cosmovision consisting of 13 skies and nine “mictlans,” or underworlds, where the dead are put through a series of tests before awaiting their next life’s return to earth. “Death was not the end, it was just another transformation of the soul,” says Dr.Torres. The people believed that their gods allowed the dead to return to earth every year, allowing up to a month to be spent with their loved ones. The time of year of the spirits’ return
varied, following the blooming of the yellow and orange “tzempazuchitl” flowers. When the fields were painted with the bright marigolds, the dead would follow their deathly sweet smell back to earth. With the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, Day of the Dead was given a Christian makeover. Crosses and statues of holy saints appeared on alters and the celebration aligned with the Christian holidays of All Saints, on Nov. 1, and All Souls days, on Nov. 2, but
the mysticism and healing aspect of the holiday remained. “One of the three main emotions humans have is this sadness. And to live in the grief is very sad for everybody, so when we celebrate the Day of the Dead it makes it easier for the ones that are still living here to leave the grief and to help us think of them and to celebrate their lives,” says Dr. Torres. “It helps a lot. It really does. It's very powerful for the soul and for the heart.” Day of the Dead has been a part of Albuquerque for years. Hundreds put on their skull faces and parade with
mobile ofrendas through the South Valley as part of the annual Marigold Parade; the largest Day of the Dead Celebration in the state. Johnny Salas, artist and owner of Santisima gallery in Old Town, hosts the second most popular Day of the Dead celebration in Albuquerque. Combining Dia de los Muertos traditions witnessed in Oaxaca with hauntingly beautiful Muertos artwork, Salas will host his 10th Day of the Dead art show fiesta on Nov. 2. “I try not to do a Walt Disney version of Day of the Dead,” explains Salas. “I try to make things very traditional here when it comes to the music the dancing; what the mariachis play. All of that has to be deeply influenced by what you would see in Mexico. So, I try to make it very authentic.” Each year traditional costumed Folklorico dancers perform to skull-clad mariachis transforming the gallery's Old Town courtyard, Poco a Poco, into a little piece of Mexico. Santisima and its neighboring stores set up their own elaborately decorated ofrendas in memory of their loved ones passed. Food and the traditional anise infused Pan de Muerto are available to enjoy while guests reminisce and chuckle at stories about their loved ones. One difference to the traditional celebration is the addition of special collections of hauntingly beautiful and comical Day of the Dead artwork created by local artists. “For a lot of people, death can be very intimidating and something that people don't want to see. But through Day of the Dead it gets a different take on it because it is actually a celebration of life,” says Salas, “With the Day of the Dead art tying cultures and the celebration's significance together.” A source of healing for loss and grief, Salas and Dr. Torres also agree that Day of the Dead's rise in popularity in pop culture is greatly attributed to art. One artist in particular, Jose Guadalupe Posada, is an inspiration to almost every Day of the Dead artist. The Mexican political cartoonist was
the first to depic the colorful calaveras as “actually laughing and carrying on and doing things as we do in this lifetime,” explains Salas. Posada's infamous “La Calavera Catrina,” or “The Elegant Skull,” became a staple for artists and the holiday itself, firmly placing brightly colored Muertos artwork and comical skulls into the mainstream art world. Dia de los Muertos has worn many skulls in its deep history, and while the day’s popularity has hit the mainstream party scene, its healing benefits and purpose remains the same. •
s the first Native Amercian owned skateboard company, Apache Skateboards backs a talented young skate crew sporting some of the most unique gear being ridden including collaborative collections with skate brands iPath and Volcom. But Apache Skateboards' reach far exceeds that of the cemented skate park. Under the umbrella of his skate brand, founder and artist Douglas Miles has been able to encompass a community of artists, musicians, skaters and active thinkers of all descents. “Apache Skateboards is for everybody, for everyone. It's not just Native people,” says Miles. “For Apache Skateboards it's important for everyone to have fun but also to be as creative as possible.” Creativity and the chase of fun combined over 10 years ago when Miles’ son, Doug Jr., asked his father to buy him a skateboard. Unable to afford a name brand, decalled board, Miles bought him a plain white deck, promising to personalize it with his own artwork. With this Apache Skateboards was born. Of Apache and Pima descent, Miles started the company out of his hometown of San Carlos, Arizona. Doug Jr. and his friends got involved with the company by skateboarding, filming and producing their own skate videos, while Miles created the aesthetics/imagery designs and ideology behind the company. “Skateboarding and art are essential to Native communities, because it gives kids and people something to do that is fun, and that's active, and that's creative, and it helps them to express themselves,” says Miles. “I know that some people don't like it, but skateboarding is an art form. Every skater has his or her own style.” Throwing support behind an often misunderstood sport, Apache Skateboards helped the skateboarding community of San Carlos gain national popularity, hosting six Apache Skate Blasts over the years. The blasts bring together
skaters, musicians, artists and observers from all over the country to join in on the jam. The company's website, www.apacheskateboards.com, features hundreds of multimedia videos of skate sessions, interviews and concerts produced during events sponsored by the Apache crew. In creating expressive outlets for the community through
skateboard culture, Apache Skateboards also transformed Miles’ role in the art world. An artist for nearly 15 years, Miles had previously used pop culture images in his work and continued to combine these images with traditional Native images. But the overlap between skating, street art and pop culture expanded the
mediums and surfaces that Miles could create from. He started cutting bold stencils in the images of Apache warriors, and most popularly, the image of an Apache woman assertively aiming a pistol, displaying his work on the structural and organic canvases of skate parks, walls, rusted metals and wood. “I have a lot of art that I have done on old wood and old metal. I liked putting these stencils on these old surfaces because I felt that the art became a reflection of life on the reservation,” Miles explains. “I'm not asking for pity. I'm just asking for people to look at maybe the harsher realities of life on the rez, where we live.” Apache Skateboards’ strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website, provides non-cliché views into the lives of Native people. Apache Skateboards encourages people to value education and to become aware of the exploitative stereotypes that mainstream media often depicts Native Americans in/as. Currently, they are in the planning stages to bring the Apache Skate Blast back to San Carlos for another jam later this year. Miles is currently curating an art show, “The What Tribe Project,” that premiered in Los Angeles Sept. 5. Collaborating with 15 other artists, the show is using an array of multimedia mediums to ignite discussions about negative stereotypes. •
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his month’s Pointer from a Pinup will be on a recipe for everyone’s favorite Native American delicacy – Fry Bread. But before we get started let’s have a little history lesson on how this amazing treat was created and its origins. As local history has it, Fry Bread was created by the Diné (Navajo) people. But along with this creation came much pain and suffering. The Diné, who made a livelihood raising livestock, traded with the Spanish, Pueblos, Apache, Comanche, and even early pioneers. But in 1846 large numbers of American pioneers moved into the area, bringing tension with them. In 1863 Kit Carson, a federal Indian agent, was sent to the Diné to obtain their surrender, but when no one came to meet him he ordered the burning of their land. Attempts were made to starve the Diné, but in the end about 10,000 Diné civilians were rounded up and taken to Hwééldi – Bosque Rodondo near Fort Sumner – where 400 Mescalero Apaches were already being held. After 18 brutal days of marching over 300 miles, only 9,000 Diné reached the fort, and because of overcrowding many Diné eventually starved. At Hwééldi the United States government supplied the Diné with lard, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder or yeast, and powdered milk. From these rations came Fry Bread, created from these few foods provided during their four years of captivity. Since this time, Fry Bread has become a staple of many Native American groups and most certainly a staple of powwows, gatherings and the New Mexico State Fair, proving the endurance of the human spirit that even during extreme hardship some good things can come – if consumed in moderation, that is. So, when we sink our teeth into a delicious bite of Fry Bread, covered in beans and chile or honey and powdered sugar, we can now take a moment to pay respect to this food’s unique past. •
Ingredients: 1 cup Blue Bird flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon powdered milk 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 hot cup water Vegetable oil for frying (specifically Morrell Snow Cap or Crisco) Extra flour to powder your hands
Preparation: •Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk and baking powder in a large bowl. •Pour the water, as hot as your hands can stand it, over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump. •Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured. •Using your hands form flat disks with the dough. Then, in a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350ºF. You can check if your oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough into the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. •Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large heavy pot. •Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. •Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. •Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook. •Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.