Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

Native artist from the Ramapough Lenape Nation exposes erased histories

Photo provided by the artist Ótaés and used with permission.

Indigenous lives often go unnoticed by the mainstream United States. Ótaés, an artist from the Ramapough Lenape Nation, is determined to change that.

Using a combination of oil markers and wheat pastings, their work can be seen across the country and “centers around discussing injustices the Indigenous community faces and exposing erased or manipulated history in the Midwest and Appalachian region,” they told Rising Voices.

The Ramapough Lenape Nation spans lands in what's known today as New York and New Jersey. The artist gathers their research from a variety of sources ranging from archaeological records to oral history told by elders.

Through Instagram (@ndn.o), Ótaés has published more than 110 pieces of artwork. For example, this one calls attention to the fact that one-third of Native American children live in poverty:

Through their art, Ótaés addresses inequalities in the justice system, violence against women, mental health issues, and racism facing Native American peoples.

Some of their messages focus on the recent history of Ramapough Lenape Nation's lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company. The Rampapough Lenape Nation accused the company of dumping hazardous waste down abandoned mines in New Jersey affecting their lands, causing serious health issues for residents:

View this post on Instagram

Happy birthday, mom

A post shared by Òtaès (@ndn.o) on

Ótaés often throws harrowing statistics about Native American life into their work to raise awareness of the injustices faced by their people.

To see the full set, please visit the @ndn.o Instagram account.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.