By Kylie Werner | Cronkite News
GLENDALE – Navajo artist Di’Orr Greenwood got emotional as he talked about the unveiling of a skateboard stamp he designed in collaboration with the U.S. Postal Service.
“This is a very important moment for my community as it is the first figure that represents our Native and Navajo Community on a national scale,” said Greenwood. “When the young people see that and see how far it has brought me,” they will pick up right where I left off and go further than I did.
The event at Desert West Skate Park on March 24 was the first public showcase Art Skateboard Noteswhich are designed to honor the skateboarding community and culture and celebrate the inclusion of skateboarding in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The four brands were created by Greenwood, Crystal World, Federico Frum, who goes by MasPaz, and William James Taylor Jr., also of Core222.
Each stamp is an image of a skateboard deck decorated with various shapes that honor the artist’s culture or heritage.
Greenwood, a native of Arizona who now lives in Los Angeles, represented her Navajo culture through a blue board with eagle feathers and stars important to her culture.
“I wanted to give back something that would be consistent in my life, and that would be the morning and evening star,” Greenwood said. “I woke up and prayed to Lucifer and then, if I was having a really horrible day, I would often look to see the evening and I would come out and figure out why I was having a horrible day.”
Greenwood also explained how eagles are respected in their community, especially within their family, as they can access the sky and also come down to Earth. The USPS also has an eagle in its logo.
Greenwood said having the opportunity to display her art nationally is important not only to her but to the community and other indigenous people.
“I’m taking this opportunity and using this platform to do something great for my country,” Greenwood said, noting that spiritual and artistic practices were once banned.
In addition to showcasing Native culture, Greenwood, who said he skateboards, notes that he brings a positive light to the skateboarding community.
“It brings positivity to the use of a professional skateboard athlete, and a lot of the time people don’t really believe how skateboarding has helped communities and changed the minds of so many people across the country,” Greenwood said.
Greenwood has highlighted how he hopes couriers and brands will highlight skateboarding’s gravity debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – which have been held in 2021 due to COVID-19. Greenwood also hopes to help promote the study of the ability to practice the Olympics through Native communities across the United States.
“There is no shortage of talent in our communities. It’s just a lack of specific facilities, Greenwood said, to exercise capacity on Indigenous land for skateboarding and other sports.
Greenwood took up skateboarding when he was a teenager. She talked about seeing her younger brother take up skateboarding and wanting to do it. But she could not kick or push and was bullied for him, so that he put it down to other sports.
“I didn’t take skateboarding back until I moved from my reservation in the Phoenix area,” Greenwood said. “I moved from the Navajo Reservation with select pavement to a city with flat pavement and asphalt everywhere, so I went really good at skateboarding.”
Greenwood also works with different youth groups to teach them how to skateboard safely.
“When skateboarding first started, there wasn’t a real basis for letting people know how to skateboard safely,” Greenwood said. “It’s a safe feather that needs to be looked at, and it helps with working with kids and younger kids to help keep them alive when they decide to really get into skateboarding.”
Greenwood have a website where he sells skateboards he has built and other pieces he has created.
“I see a lot of design in other parts of the world. They take the geometric design of our work and put it in rugs, they put it in mass-produced furniture,” Greenwood said. the actual objectives of the operation and the quality of the goods”.
Greenwood believes all of his artistic abilities are inherited and lends them to his time, and it will be his duty to pass them on to younger generations.
“The ability that I have for all this art and design is not mine, it’s for my community and the youth,” Greenwood said.
Other stamp artists
Worl created a blue-and-white skateboard deck with a salmon design that honored his Tlingit/Athabascan heritage. It is representative of the abundance of salmon for the Native people of Alaska and the Northwest according to the Northern World.
“I’m excited for this artwork because it’s Northwest Coast formal design, which is about my tribe,” Mundo said. “Formline design comes from the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes, and it’s really awesome to give a Native artist a platform to tell our story.”
MasPaz did some design that referred to the mystical jaguar of the Amazon, in honor of his Colombian heritage.
“Honoring the animals and the land of my country has always been really important to me, I feel it helps me reconnect with my people,” MasPaz said. “The jaguar is like a mystical creature that is believed to pass through like night and darkness and like life and death, and it is powerful and important, but in reality it threatens.”
MasPaz emphasized conservation and making people more aware about everything.
Core222, who was unable to attend the ceremony, abstracted the graphic and red-orange.
“These brands are a celebration of the diverse and vibrant images, camaraderie and athleticism of skateboarding,” Core222 said in a statement. “It was a huge honor and a blessing to be part of this project.”