A Musing for Monday

book at hand:

“Recently I’ve been thinking about the body and bush aesthetics, or just like Indigenous aesthetics, and spending time thinking about mosquito bits – picking berries and picking tea, and like, paying for them with your blood…I was being chewed up by mosquitoes there and I started wondering, do mosquitoes have blood memory? And I’m wondering if mosquitoes are a way of paying the land? Those mosquitoes’ ancestors had a relationship with my ancestors, literally through blood. I was so grateful to be bitten by mosquitoes and think about the history of my grandmothers in that place, and our history and relationship to the mosquitoes there. Seeing the welts form and watching them dissipate and turn into smaller bumps, and then fade back into my skin. I thought about those bites as an image, as a temporary or fugitive image on the land. Our bodies hold these fugitive images, and hold memory in that way, and that that memory can be a shorter time moment, and these can shift over time like the caribou antler desk images or even the grease print of beadwork on metal smear and shift, rust and change over time. Tattoos on bodies and these skin stitches as lines that have been displaced from our bodies, just like how our people have been displaced from lands.”
~ Jeneen Frei Njootli in conversation with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson,
Ndè Sı̀ı̀ Wet’aɂà: Northern Indigenous Voices on Land, Life, & Art

Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

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