As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Dillen Peace—Cover Art

Navajo Corn

In Diné creation story, corn is one of the few plants to survive the harsh conditions of each of the worlds previous to our current world. It is said that in these worlds, before Jóhonaaéí (Sun) and Tł‘ééhonaa’éí (Moon) were created, the sky would alternate with colors of white, yellow, and blue, before the darkness of night fell. Within these worlds, corn proved its resiliency by surviving through the harsh conditions. Resulting from its survival, corn was brought into the current world we inhabit. In our world today, corn continues to prove its resiliency as it thrives despite many different inimical conditions and anthropogenic disasters. This piece was inspired by one of those disasters: the Gold King Mine spill that occurred on August 5th of 2015. This toxic waste spill devastated over 1,500 farms and 1,200 ranches on the Navajo reservation. In response to this catastrophe, I wanted to illustrate the strength and power within the plant that allowed it to endure and survive the previous worlds and allows it to thrive today. At a time when indigenous cultures and ways of life are continually under attack, I wanted to pay homage to one of the most sacred parts of the Diné lifestyle: Corn.

Dillen Alexander Peace is an aspiring Navajo Intellectual and Artist from Rock Point, Arizona. At twenty years of age, Dillen is currently attending Dartmouth College as a member of the Class of 2019. A double-major in Native American Studies and Studio Art, Dillen is also minoring in Art History. Dillen‘s artwork does not center around a specific theme, however, his cultural knowledge and indigeneity constantly play significant roles in the artwork he creates. Dillen‘s preferred medium is oil paint, but he also works in mixed media, wood, plaster, print, acrylic, watercolor, and charcoal.

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2017 by .


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