Wa-ho:  The First Song After the Flood

Collection of the Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA

 

Khaw.  Mother.  Me.

My babies changed everything for me.  Bringing them into this world is a scary thing.  With my first son, there were complications and I know that if I had given birth in my grandma’s day, neither me or my sons would be here.

And so, like all mothers, I look to those who came before me for guidance.  My mother was adamant that I sing a certain lullaby to my boys when they were infants.  It was the lullaby sung to her by her mother and sung to my grandmother by her mother and so on.  It is the first song that was sung after The Flood.  It has traveled in the breath of Kiowa women through time, since our beginning to me, and I have sung it to my boys:  these boys that gratefully, thankfully, do not know what it is to be pursued, to be starving, to live under constant threat of death in all its forms.

A-ho to all the mothers that came before me. My sacrifices are pitiful compared to yours.

A-ho.

 

Teri Greeves

2011

Kiowa

Materials:  raw silk, canvas, wood, glass beads, wood beads, brass beads

Dimensions:  w- 36”, l-60”