In The Spirit: Landa Lakes
In the Spirit

Landa Lakes

The Wisdom of Long Nails
November 12, 2020

This event occurred as part of the 20/21 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

An evening of traditional and contemporary Native American storytelling.

20/21 Hop Presents

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Communities of culture have long maintained cohesion and connection through oral tradition. These stories guide people in their relationships to each other and to the world they live in. In this interdisciplinary performance and "Aunty Ted Talk," culture bearer Landa Lakes (Chickasaw), whose name as a drag performer is Landa Lakes, draws upon the stories of the so-called 'Five Civilized Tribes' — the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee) and Seminole tribes  —  that were forcefully displaced from their homelands over the span of 70 years.

About Landa Lakes

Landa Lakes is a Chickasaw writer, musician, activist and artist. As drag persona Landa Lakes, in 2005, she founded drag performance groups in San Francisco including the Two-Spirit Native American drag troupe, the Brush Arbor Gurlz, and the creative and campy House of Glitter. She is also the Westcoast Mother of the Vogue House of Lauren, International, and is the recipient of the national pageant title Jewel of the Galaxy. Landa uses art to combine contemporary ideas with Native history and traditional stories to convey the shared experiences and understanding of human nature outside the colonialized Christian perspective. Her notable honors include the New York Fresh Fruit Festival Performance Award, KQED LGBT Local Hero Award, and she was publicly elected as Grand Duchess 36 of the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco, a non-profit organization of which she is now the president. Thomas served as Co-Chair to the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAIT-S) and is on the Board of the BAAIT-S Two-Spirit Powwow. Recently, she co-founded the Weaving Spirits Native Art Festival.


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In the Spirit is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo: courtesy of the artist

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