The open dialogue was a way to connect the women and the audience together to create important dialogue. One that stuck with me the most was Black Mama’s response to a question about her feelings of isolation. Black Mama said both her ethnic groups would reject her because of her appearance but she “needed the love of [her] people.” This impacted me the most because I could connect to that feeling of not being able to fit into one group. This reminded me of “mestizo” or “mixing” learned in class because Chicanos/as were not able to fit into one ethnic group so the creation of the word “Chicanos/as” was a way to include those people. Black Mama said those who don’t accept others are wrong and in the future, marginalization should be eliminated. Black Mama was able to use her own experience to connect with others and use music as a way to reach a broader audience. Black Mama’s experience allowed me to feel more connected to her and her words left a grand impression on me. So powerful!
Building the altar was a collective journey between myself, my group, and my classmates. Building the altar was not only placing objects upon some empty boxes but understanding the significance behind each object. Once completed the altar’s significance was evident throughout.
Our group wanted to remember the missing indigenous women in Washington State and included objects to represent the women’s indigenous roots. The leaves and flowers signify the importance nature plays on indigenous women and placing images of a few missing women allowed the viewer to connect the movement to a face. The placement of the altar’s beside each other was not only visually appealing but also, demonstrates how the concept of an altar is interpreted differently from the various groups.
The differences in the altars made me realize that altars don’t have a right answer. Even though the altars differed from each other all came together and worked to promote the indigenous practices in a positive and informative way.