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New Indigenous map recognizes Native American women

A cartographer who sells his creations  through the company Tribal Nation Maps has released a new concept that features Native American women.

Aaron Carapella, who is part Cherokee on his mother’s side, is a self-taught cartographer – one who draws or produces maps. He makes maps of the locations and names of the pre-Columbian Indigenous tribes of North America.

Carapella has researched and produced the maps for several years. He told the Navajo Times that some of his customers complained that the maps made Natives “look like they were a thing of the past.”

So he came up with a theme for his new map: “Inspirational Women of Native America.” He’s surrounded one of his traditional maps with present day Native American women outside of the map’s borders.

A partial sample of Aaron Carapella’s new work: “Inspirational Women of Native America.” (Photo courtesy Navajo Times)

Carapella told the Navajo Times that it was difficult to decide who to feature, because there were so many women to choose from and not enough space. He decided on 13 this time around.

Carapella asked each woman to submit a picture they found “inspirational” and a brief biography.

His next project will be a poster that features Native American women exclusively, without a map.

“There’s been a movement lately to decolonize and bring back the matriarchy,” Carapella told the Navajo Times. “Hopefully this will help.”

The map is available for $65 as a poster or $159 on canvas suited for framing. Go to tribalnationsmaps.com for more information.

Read the full article from the Navajo Times here.

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