As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

LisaNa RedBear—Photography

Strength, Love and Courage

The digital art composition “Strength, Love and Courage” is in observance of my mitochondrial inheritance from our Grandmother Trujillo, Nde – Llanero Apache from the Cimarron Mountains. Through the use of meaningful cultural iconography I created this image to both affirm her as an indigenous woman and mother, as well as represent ideas of bravery, love and her triumphant spirit I sense resonating in my genetic memory. The central icon is a photo of Grama Trujillo, taken in Cimarron, located in the New Mexico territories in the early 1900’s. My Grandmother’s image and powerful gaze are highlighted among all the visual elements used to create the composition’s narrative. A mantle of turquoise double helixes erupts from both sides of her image in recognition and honor of her indigenous genetic legacy. There are many symbols like red blood corpuscles interwoven with chili ristas, strands of light and grama’s 1898 Colt .45 six-shot revolver whose barrels transform into my paintbrushes. The little light orbs circling her represent ancient-celestial-ancestral-spirits. They are in relation to the lower center image of an Aztlan ancient carving representing warrior-resistance-survivance, wielding a bow and arrow while walking on a speeding ray of light traversing dimensions of the multiverse depicted by Tlalli (the Earth) and Citlalinicue (the milky way). In total this composition celebrates my families’ matrilineal strength, love and resistance, which is embedded in our intergenerational DNA for eternity.


LisaNa M. Macias Red Bear is deeply rooted in her family, oral history and cultural values of her grandmothers and ancestors of Aztlan. She is a first generation college graduate and international doctoral candidate after being awarded a competitive international merit-based scholarship from the Graduate Studies department at the University of Waikato, in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2014. Housed in the School of Maori and Pacific Development, she is part of the Maori and Indigenous graduate studies consortium and has the privilege of working with Linda T Smith as her chief doctoral supervisor.

LisaNa is a credentialed Mental Health Professional and Native American Mental Health Specialist with over 25 years of experience in the human services field. She is a multimedia artist, and an Arts & Humanities Scholar with a Master of Fine Art Degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to being an awarded artist, LisaNa is a consultant, trainer and certified educator whose art and behavioral health training was well received both nationally and internationally. She is dedicated to her work and doctoral thesis titled “Indigenous Healing Reclamation Art Methodology: Reclaiming Sacred in the 21st Century”. Her doctoral thesis is focused on the promotion and facilitation of culturally informed, strength-based, community and person-centered creative therapeutic services.

Countdown to Launch

Issue 3February 14th, 2014
Online version of Issue 3 goes live!

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