Artist Statement

BY: Jackie Lautaimi

The objects in this shadow box represent me and my point of view and some counter and dominant narratives about me. When people look at me they see a young girl, but I’m much more than that. My name is Jacqueline, I live in Oakland and that is why there is a picture of a tree. Moreover, I am Native American/Tongan so that is the reason why there is a flag for those ethnicities. Natives believe that sage is a healing medicine and not just smoke to get rid of evil spirits and that is why there is some in my box. Beading is a craft that Natives do, so the beaded earrings that are in my box are the earrings that my mom made to represent a Native woman dancing in her jingle dress. In addition, I also added the Oneida flag which is the tribe that I am. The flag has a purple background and white squares with a feather. On the outside of my box, I added a Mexican flag because a lot of people assume that I am Mexican when they first meet me. I also put words like “Indian” and “savage” on the outside of my box because when some people find out that I am Native, they might think those words. Even though some of these objects represent a struggle that I had to deal with, it also shows how I embrace who I am and that is the counter narrative I hope is explained and represented in this box. 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 jackie’s shadow box by Jaqueline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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