Created By: Dr. Elizabeth Rule - The Guide To Indigenous Lands Project
In 2018, artist Joerael Numina collaborated with the local Piscataway community in order to design a spray-painted mural for the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University. The mural weaves together symbols and representations of Piscataway culture and history, rendered through graffiti-style "handskrit" writing, international tribal symbols of spirituality, and Piscataway community-specific motifs.
Viewers should note that the eagle and condor represent cross-border solidarity between the indigenous peoples of North and South America, the nude-toned rainbow alludes to the diversity of appearances amongst indigenous peoples, feathers contain spiritual significance, images of activism remind onlookers of the ongoing political engagement of Native peoples, and the words "land" and "stolen" reference the history of colonization and indigenous homelands in Washington, DC.
“It wasn’t the Piscataway that were here, the Piscataway still live here,” Numina noted. “That’s part of what I’ve learned through them. A lot of people think, in the history books they’re taught – the people who were once here – but they still exist.”
“What I appreciate about Joerael’s mural is that it demonstrates the complexity and contemporary presence of our people and our stories,” reflected Sebastian Medina-Tayac (Piscataway).
The installation at the Flagg Building is part of Numina's larger "Mobilize Walls" series, a project that will create 420 million square feet--the same size of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall--of murals. The artist has also completed murals in Albuquerque and New York City as part of "Mobilize Walls."
This point of interest is part of the tour: Guide to Indigenous DC