Monday, July 6, 2020

Stunning photo shows Indigenous women posing where Detroit's Christopher Columbus statue stood

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:13 AM

Local photographer Rosa María Zamarrón went viral over the Fourth of July weekend for her shots of Indigenous women standing at the former site of Detroit's Christopher Columbus statue.

As of Monday morning, a photo showing four women in colorful, traditional Jingle Dresses standing at the pedestal of the statue earned more than 10,000 likes on Instagram and more than 5,000 on Twitter. A tweet shared by another Twitter user got more than 270,000 likes and 71,000 retweets.

Zamarrón, who is from Southwest Detroit, tells Metro Times she took the photo a few days earlier. The women in the photograph have Chippewa, Anishinaabe, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Cherokee ancestry.

She says the photo was taken as part of a "Waawiiyaatanong Resurgence" ceremony on July 1, "which creates a political and social paradigm shift that will divert power away from the colonial patriarchy, and into an indigenous matriarchy headed by women and two-spirited people."

"Showcasing Jingle Dress dancers who are known as healers creates the motion of [...] a healing action for land reclamation," she says.

According to a website for the event, the "Waawiiyaatanong Resurgence" ceremony was held in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests.

"The celebration of American independence on July 4th signifies the ongoing oppression of African Diasporic Peoples and Indigenous Peoples of North America through a continuing legacy of stolen land and stolen labor," the site reads. "This settler society on occupied Turtle Island continues these traditions of violence and oppression to this day."

The City of Detroit quietly removed the 110-year-old Columbus statue last month as Black Lives Matter protests across the country have toppled monuments tied to racism.

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