Nov. 30, 2022
Ed Kabotie is a musician, painter, storyteller and educator from the Tewa village of Santa Clara in northern New Mexico, and the Hopi village of Shungopavi in northern Arizona. His music speaks to Native American history and the social and environmental injustices experienced by Native Americans in the southwestern United States. “In America, I feel like there is often an approach to glamorizing our story, to romanticizing our story,” said Kabotie.
His songs are designed to fill in some of the blanks that are missing from the version of history that many Americans grew up hearing.
The first song Kabotie plays is called “Land Acknowledgement.” “The song is written as a reaction to the movement of giving land acknowledgements,” Kabotie explained. “As an Indigenous person, you know you’re living on the lands of your ancestors. So to look at the history of this country and then been given a land acknowledgement, it seems like there’s a great chasm of understanding our experience with those words.”
Kabotie’s band is called Tha ‘Yoties. “As a band, we’re howling to raise awareness of the plight of the indigenous people,” he said. According to Kabotie, the purpose of their new tour is to raise a heartfelt cry for the Indigenous people and lands of the Colorado Plateau region, while comparing social and environmental struggles that Indigenous people face in other parts of the country.
The second song Kabotie plays is called “Sunflower Girl,” an upbeat love song.
“My vision as an artist is to remind the world of our heroes. Whether literal or mythic, Native American history is full of virtues and morals that can equip us for the future.” Kabotie said.