Program 104: Honoring Native Women

Audio and Transcripts

Zona Loans Arrow

Zona Loans Arrow

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features Zona Loans Arrow telling the story of the courage and bravery shown by her Nakotah great grandmother who was captured by the Blackfeet in the late 19th century. She tells the story as her great grandmother shared with her about her escape from captivity by the enemy band. She walked through danger from west of the Canadian Rockies back to her home in North Dakota and tells of her reunion with her family.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton acknowledges healing as a traditional role for native women.  “Knowing anywhere from fifty to a hundred or more plants, so plant knowledge was just part of daily life. A native healer brought in another dimension beyond just the herbs being used. That’s where the songs, the prayers and the other therapies or practices would be brought in and still are today.”

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind spotlights a number of Women’s Honor Songs from Standing Rock Indian Reservation, offering stories that explain the background and the importance of honoring women of all ages within native culture, including babies, girls, and young women, as well as adults and elders.

Taheebvu Chadi:
Judy Trejo tells the story of her great grandmother, Phoebe Winnamucca, who was a healer and tells how she received her instructions to gather rocks, golden eagle tail feathers and songs needed to doctor others. She also sings two women’s healing songs taught by her Gramma Phoebe.

Turtle Island Storytellers:
Tewa Pueblo sculptor and traditional storyteller, Nora Naranjo Morse tells the traditional story of Turkey Girl, the Pueblo orphan girl who was honored by the wild turkeys she watched over and dressed by them for village ceremony. “The turkeys came out with a manta, which is a ceremonial dress of the Pueblos and they wrapped it around her. And they also brought out a belt and they put the belt around her. And they were dressing her in the most finest of clothes, ceremonial clothes. And she was so surprised because this was such magic to her. No one, no human being had ever taken such interest and care of her and she was very touched.”

Host Arlie Neskahi weaves a narrative around honoring women who are regarded as the backbone of the culture among many American Indian tribes. Arlie shares the importance of traditions honoring Diné mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters and other women within his nation.

Audio and Transcripts