words :: Sarah Woods
There’s a collective force of energy coming together during these dynamic times. Across different mountain towns, various beating hearts are joining in resonance of an unseen spirit echoing a shift in consciousness. It’s the return of the sovereign woman. One who aligns with Mother Earth and through various expressions, evokes great change through her unique wisdom of heart.
For Anuximana, that unspoken call from within is as an artist.
“You pronounce the “xi” in my name like a hissing cat. That’s how my elders taught me,” she explains.
Anuximana is Nuxalkmc, from the Nuxalk Territory—the land surrounding the rivers and coastline near Bella Coola, B.C. At 21 years old, she’s just one year shy of her ten-year career as an artist. When most of her peers in school were cutting class, she was absorbing knowledge of an ancient craft through elders, and making it her own.
“My art speaks in colour. That’s my language. That’s how I tell the loud stories I’m here to voice. I don’t know how, I just know it happens,” is the way she describes the nameless space of being that births such beauty.
“Hours feel like minutes. Something is working through me. It’s just… natural,” she adds.
There’s a beautiful simplicity about creations of heart. They’re never expressed by asking how, but rather offered through one’s surrendering to self.
“I was working on Mother Moon. For a long time, she just sat there. A blank face. But I felt I needed to finish her. So, I asked… what do you want to be? And then all these colours danced in my head. I couldn’t stop painting and drawing. The next day… she was done.”
That piece sits with her great grandmother, Violet Tallio, a celebration of Anuximana’s mastery as a carving student. At 17 years old, she graduated school early and worked with Tahltan-Tlingit master carver Dempsey Bob at Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.
“In some cultures, carving wasn’t allowed for women. But for the Nuxalk people, our knowledge keeper explained that gender wasn’t used as an obstacle. If you wanted to fish, you could fish. If you wanted to carve, you could carve. Regardless of your gender.”
Anuximana represents a new kind of leader. One who knows that she is governed by the force of nature and guided by the spirit of her own wisdom in every moment. And in that trusted space, she accepts her role as an ambassador for the future through her very own genius of being—an expression where the heart speaks. Or, in Anuximana’s reflection, where one dreams like her ancestors.
“If I don’t make art today, who will express these stories? I will be an ancestor soon, I want to be a good one. Future generations need this art to look at. I see the joy in my little sister when I create with her. That connection inspires me to keep going. I always think about my great-great-great grandchildren studying my carvings, amazed by our form-line and the sophisticated designs. Just like I’m doing now with our ancestors. That’s what it’s all about. Dreaming like they did.”
That’s the key to the return of the sovereign woman and the impending global shift to wholeness and unity from the current chaos and discomfort that exists—the ability to dream and create through the colours of heart: a remembering of who we all are, and who we came here to be. It’s not something you have to work hard at being. You just have to be… you.
Find more of Anuximana’s work on Instagram @anuximana