Artist and Lobo Mallery Quetawki’s work is being featured on Google’s interactive Doodle in honor of American Indian Heritage Month. The interactive Doodle allows participants to use their mouse or trackpad to try their hand at the art of weaving.
Quetawki is a member of Zuni Pueblo (A:shiwi) and received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Art studio in 2009 from The University of New Mexico. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence with the Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP) at the UNM-College of Pharmacy.
“Personally, creating the We:wa Doodle was an honor as We:wa was such a warm and generous individual who exemplified our core values as A:shiwi,” she said in a Google Q&A. “To be representing my people on this Doodle is another honor that I will always be thankful for. We are a village filled with talented artists and I am absolutely grateful for this honor to represent our history and to tell it using our art.”
The interactive Doodle celebrates Zuni Native American fiber artist, weaver and potter the late We:wa. As a Łamana (thah-mah-nah), the late We:wa was a revered cultural leader and mediator within the Zuni tribe, devoting their life to the preservation of Zuni traditions and history.
“I hope that people become aware of our traditional customs and the fact that they are very much in practice currently,” Quetawki said, when asked about what she hopes people will take away from the Doodle. “Our ancient ways of life are still here and we can all learn from one another. We:wa was a male individual who lived as a woman. He is an ancestor of ours whom we think so dearly. If we could all be caring and empathetic to one another we can all live We:wa’s legacy.”
Quetawki has created culturally-relatable art to translate scientific ideas, health impacts and research on abandoned uranium mines that are currently undergoing study in several Indigenous communities. Her work continues to bridge Traditional Ecological Knowledge or Indigenous Ways of Knowing with Western science and medicine in hopes to create better pathways in communication between scientists, practitioners and Native American communities. She is currently taking the next steps toward applying to medical school in hopes to return home to the underserved Zuni Reservation as a family physician. Read more about her and explore her work by visiting her Instagram.