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Visual Expressions of Native Womanhood: Acknowledging the Past, Present, and Future

This dissertation explores the artistic expressions of Native womanhood by Native women artists. The intention is to offer further examples of creative acts of resistance that strengthen Native identities, reinforce female empowerment, and reclaim voice, and art. This qualitative study utilized the narratives and the artwork of six Native women artists from diverse artistic practices and tribe/nation affiliations. Visual arts examples included in this study are digital images, muralism, Ledger art, beadworks, Navajo rugs, and Navajo jewelry. Through Kim Anderson’s theoretical Native womanhood identity formation model adopted as framework for this study, the results revealed three emergent themes: cultural connections, motherhood, and nurturing the future. Native women artists lived experiences shaped their visual expressions, influencing their materials, approach, subject matter, intentions, motivation and state of mind. This dissertation discloses Native womanhood framework is supportive of visual expressions created by Native women.


Georgina Badoni


Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox




College of Social and Behavioral Sciences