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“Ms. Indigenous-er” 


       #2 in the series “More Indian-er Than You” addresses complex identity issues in “Indian Country”.


       As a man, I don't intend or possess territory to speak on the expressions of Women. My intention for this series of work is to observe inauthentic, and disingenuous manifestations of culture, regardless of gender definition. This aesthetic of attire is part culture, part personal expression & part novelty, but it is very difficult in recognizing where the defining line exists as intention is not easily identifiable.


I intend this work to speak on those who use their apparent “Indian-ness” against others as a tool for forward trajectory. This work is not intended to be redacted from the context of the larger body of my work and philosophy. 


       I believe it’s path to be through dialogue and discussion of the understanding of identity issues, which also exists in the same realm as fighting for reparations and representing the power in our collective Indigenous identity. 

       Gender aside, is the use of popular pan-Indianism imagery the path to a healthy existence in our collective definitions of identity? As well as part of our larger visual language or is it something else? 


How much Indigenous expression makes us Indigenous? How native must we dress to feel a part of the larger Native community? 


I’m not qualified to judge or decide, only to observe.


        Understanding that individual expression is empowering and self-defined, I feel that many, take advantage of the look and the additional connotations it may carry. Natives and non-natives alike pursue the imagery and dress with an incipient fervor, similar to employing ‘indigenous starter packs’ in presenting oneself.

        In some situations material projections with the particular intention and representations of culture can be conceived as additionally detrimental to the original culture than they are beneficial. These same projections have also been used for personal gain of fame, status, wealth, and even romantic interest. 


For those reppin’ or just learning your culture, represent yourself in a manner you see fit, more power to you ❤️


The #superindian is coming for us all. 

       Cultural image expression + Social status = success


At the end of this discussion i will attach printed transcripts of all who provided context and opinion towards this issue. Thank you all for your addition. 


13 7/8” x 10 7/8”

Alcohol-based Ink, graphite, colored pencil, white charcoal on antique ledger paper. 


#benpease #ms.indigenous-er #ledgerart #ishouldvebeenaledgerartist #rezhat #ribbonskirt #braids #indigenoustuxedo #pinculture #louisvuitton #patriarchy #dontjudgeabookbyitscover #hatgang  @ Gary & Melissa Oakland Artist-In-Residence Studio, Yellowstone Art Museum

Ms. Indigenous-er

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