MALI’E is a cultural resurgence project engaging performance research as a methodology to explore indigenous worldviews and empower Matao communities to embody liberation with ancestral knowing. The project draws from the traditional Matao practice of embodied, improvisatory, collective, singing where oral history and prophecy converge to reclaim the spiritual and political power of the oral historian.
In the first installment, Tåno’ Uchan, Creation stories become allegories for how the diasporic navigate the violence of displacement. The Navigator journeys through their own family history, dancing rituals of respect and reciprocity with land, Oceanic, Black, & Native Turtle Island communities, and the cosmos. Future installments of MALI’E will invite a cohort of Matao artists to engage the emergent auto-ethnochoreographic methodology to deepen the articulation of cultural concepts, develop community powered ceremonies for personal and collective healing, and re-k/new inafa’maolek—harmony, balance, and unity with Creation.
Dakota Camacho is a Matao/CHamoru multi-disciplinary artist and researcher working in spaces of indigenous life ways, performance, musical composition, video, installation, community engagement, and education. Born, raised, and based in Coast Salish Territory (1991), Camacho creates indigenizing processes & ceremonies of encounter with ancestors, land, and spirit. Camacho is a chanter, adjunct instructor, and core researcher for I Fanlalai’an Oral History Project based at the University of Guåhan.