"We'wha" is a print of a hand drawn polygonal drawing on 11 x 14" Bristol board paper using micron marker, prismacolor colored pencils, mars black acrylic paint and hand stamped with antique letter stamps and white ink.
We'wha (1849–1896) was a Zuni Native American from New Mexico, and the most famous lhamana on record. In traditional Zuni culture, the lhamana are assigned male at birth but take on the social and ceremonial roles usually performed by women in their culture. They wear a mixture of clothes traditionally worn by both women and men and much of their work is in the areas usually occupied by Zuni women. They are also known to serve as mediators. Some contemporary lhamana participate in the modern, pan-Indian two-spirit community. In 1886, We'wha was part of the Zuni delegation to Washington D.C.. They were hosted by anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson and, during that visit, We'wha met President Grover Cleveland. While We'wha is historically known mainly as a lhamana, as a notable fiber artist, weaver and potter, We'wha was also a prominent cultural ambassador for Native Americans in general, and the Zuni in particular. During this era, We'wha came in contact with many European-American settlers, teachers, soldiers, missionaries, and anthropologists. We'wha's friendship with Matilda Coxe Stevenson would lead to much material on the Zuni being published. Stevenson wrote down her observations of We'wha, such as, "She performs masculine religious and judicial functions at the same time that she performs feminine duties, tending to laundry and the garden" and referred to We'wha as "the most intelligent person in the pueblo. Strong character made his word law among both men and women with whom he associated. Though his wrath was dreaded by men as well as women, he was loved by all children, to whom he was ever kind." Friends and relatives have used both pronouns for them.
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