“Female Indian” (2006) Artist: Sam Durant (c)
While I was writing this, I heard EmmyLou Harris in my head singing this, her particular phrasing and voice was a part of this creation, so Thank You EmmyLou.
For those interested in how I create, I saw this work of art at The Bronx Museum. I was going to be performing there, and I knew one of the things they liked was for the storyteller to find a piece of artwork that spoke to them, to tell in front of. I kept being drawn back to “Female Indian” but had no story to tell…at the time.
The poem just came to me really late at night. I was thinking about the piece: the look she has, the missing hand, the abused nature of her arms, the naked torso. I did my best to capture the feel of what I do know of the plight of Native Americans, as well as the millions of others who have suffered severe oppression and hatred.