WHY WE WEAR REDRelative Arts installation 2023
Amanda Davis & Ezra Davis.
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives honored by Relative Arts with the Red Dress Installation. Displaying red dresses from Indigenous designers across the US and Canada.
Families are conducting their own investigations, raising each others children because a parent was taken away with violence, searching for answers to questions that should never have to be asked.
Willows gathered from Washoe, Reno, Verdi and Nixon. Prepped for hours (over the course of weeks and months).
Woven with red sinew. Only weaving when I felt grounded to prevent spreading bad medicine.
Brain tanned buckskin. Mixed self-rising flour and red coloring to mark my handprint.
Beaded with gold and turquoise in a pattern similar to the hood of our cradle boards.
Willow basket carrying flowers.
Dress soaked in red. Hand sewn flowers.
I pictured her emerging from the lake, absorbing the bleeding wounds of her lost sisters. Her dress soaked up the pain and the water ran clear.
Red flowers grew up from it.
She empties out our burdens from her basket and fills it with flowers to bring to our brothers and sisters.
Beadwork around her waist is reminiscent of the hood of our babies’ cradle boards. Our children are supposed to be protected.
She wears her relatives’ names like a pageant girl wears her title, hoping to be noticed by the fancy people that were supposed to make it okay.
A hand print made from self-rising flour, used for frybread, mixed with red coloring - the food of her people after colonization. The palm covers the bullet hole of the deer that died to keep us clothed and fed.
And in the spirit world I hope they’re all dancing. And in this world I’ll keep praying.