Dominique Daye Hunter
Was it real? It was more like a dream. Beautiful golden light, perfectly comfortable warm-cool temperature gentle to the skin. Everyone smiling laughing eating: happy. No anger no fear: Just Pure Joy. It felt like a dream. Like Eternal Summer, where our ancestors rest. Our souls rested in that place. In that state of mind, it was all… Love + Light + Beauty #LuLu
The evening of March 2nd was a special, magical evening. The full moon broke through the horizon on the first annual LuLu: Voices Celebrating the Lives of Indigenous Womxn open mic.
Hosted from 8:30-10:30pm at the Hive (Phoenix), Lulu became the collaborative brain child of Petra Reyes (Diné + Chicana), and, myself.
Cosponsored by IWISER, LuLu was created to showcase matrilineal strength, beauty, and resilience via a gathering of diverse artists, poetry, and music.
It’s name was conceived from the lulu: a womxn’s war cry found in many indigenous cultures. The Ululation, is a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound resembling a howl with a trilling quality. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied with a rapid back and forth movement of the tongue and the uvula. This tradition is continued not only on Turtle Island, but in Africa, the Middle East and Central-to-South Asia. It also occurs in certain places in Europe, like Cyprus, and parts of Spain.
The LuLu is the quintessential expression of both womxn warriors, mothers, and care takers within the community. It also demonstrates the power of womxn to decide between peace and war. If the men were being cowardly and did not want to fight, the women would hit them with sticks and shamed them until they rode off to battle. This was within the best interests of the tribe, so that the womxn, children, and elders could be kept safe. Likewise, the women celebrated with the men upon their return home with ululation.
Black Elk describes these traditions and values while relaying his vision in Black Elk Speaks, “And beneath it all the animals were mingling with the people like relatives and making happy cries. The women raised their tremolo of joy, and the men shouted all together: ‘Here we shall raise our children and be as little chickens under the mother sheo’s wing.'” (Neihardt, 27).
And indeed, Lulu was a joyous occasion where many happy war cries were made.
Hosted by me, DJ Reflection on the 1’s and 2’s, and poetry appearances by @mzpoet Alanna Bluebird, Alex Piechowski Begaye (Diné), Petra, and myself. Our feature for the evening was the lovely vocalist Kahara Hodges.
We spoke and listened to deep poetry and healing stories about mothers and rain. We opened our hearts and talked and listened about the need for balance between men and women, the importance of protecting womxn and the sacred, and thanking the true warrior men in our lives who have helped us.
We giggled at the mention that, as womxn, we don’t always have to do it ourselves: we can ask for help. We relaxed and engaged in light-hearted conversation eating squash stew, blue corn chips + guacamole, chocolate covered strawberries, and, last but not least, cake. We filled the entire courtyard with roses, laughter, beauty, and…
Indigenous community love.
We are so excited for our next IWISER sponsored open mic: “Elevate Your Mind: a celebrating underrepresented graduates and universal consciousness”! Join us tonight, Tueday May 15th from 8-11pm at the Crescent Ballroom. Open mic sign up starts at 7:30pm. See y’all there!
Dominique (Afro Sappony/Norse Gaelic/Polish descent) is the co-founder of Indigenous Womxn In Solidarity Empowered and Rising and owner of Est. Time Immemorial Clothing.
Dominique is also a poet/spoken word artist, short story writer, and aspiring recreational therapist. She is currently working on her B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies, and lives in Phoenix, AZ.