The book connects the Muscogee sacred history with the land, the spirit world, the confederacy`s sociopolitical organization, and its ceremonial cycle in a carefully researched and well-written single volume. It is an exploration of Muscogee Creek values and views, including concepts of nature, genesis, gender relations, religion, and history.
I reconnected with a dear cousin last year who was always like a sibling to me. They’re a Mvskoke artist doing incredible revitalization work, Hotvlkuce Harjo. I began asking small questions about what they had learned throughout their work, and they suggested this book. I knew very little outside the native churches, stompdance, and what my parents could tell me. This book taught me things I wish I had learned from my family, but I understood that colonization had not allowed that. I felt a tether between my peoples history and my own tightening in a way I had not recognized since I had stomp danced, many years ago.
Geographer Laura Harjo demonstrates that Mvskoke communities have what they need to dream, imagine, speculate, and activate the wishes of ancestors, contemporary kin, and future relatives—all in a present temporality—which is Indigenous futurity.
The last book is Spiral to the Stars: Mvskoke Tools of Futurity written by Laura Harjo. I was shaken by how much this book resonated with me. Mvskoke futurity wasn’t something on my radar because of my decision to distance myself for so long. This was written from a view point so very specific to me. Laura Harjo is my cousin, who I refer to as my aunt, grew up in the same town, surrounded by the same kin, with the same values. This book made me feel seen as an individual who felt lost and helpless in a colonized world. It has given me the tools to see myself as the future of our people.
Yellow Medicine Review: A journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought — Fall 2010
The Ancestors We Were Looking For We Have Become: International Queer Indigenous Voices
Coming from a rural area that has strong Christian Roots, it’s hard to see yourself as a queer indigenous person. I had no expectations of media that would resonate with me on that level. Many people feel like they’re the only person with their problem and no one would understand.
I felt this way in Oklahoma for many years and even after coming into contact with other 2S people I still felt like invisible. This book was gifted to me by my dear friend Eunice. She saw it on a residency tour and thought it would help me, and so it did. I no longer felt alone as a queer native artist. The contributing artists are expressing feelings and ideas I could not express or think of myself. I am so grateful for the contributing artists putting themselves out there so that young queer indigenous could feel visible and understood as I have.
Faun Harjo (Mvskoke, Chikasha) is a two-spirit artist raised in Ada and Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Growing up as a queer person in rural areas and families, they found solice in video games. Digital spaces allowed an opportunity to play with the concepts of gender and love in a safe place. Faun recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a BFA in Art, Technology and Culture. They feel it’s necessary for their narrative to address trauma, identity, and reality through the use of rural, celebrity, and video game elements. Faun is looking forward to sharing this at Weaving Spirits.
The Weaving Spirits Festival of Two-Spirit Performance runs Fri-Sun, Mar 6-8, 2020. See full festival program and get tickets at counterpulse.org/weavingspirits.