Yáamay: An Anthology of Feminine Perspectives Across Indigenous California is a collection of Indigenous poetry, artwork, and essays specific to what is now known as Southern California. The lead authors separated these pieces into the four natural parts of our story: Tówla (Root), Kúp (Sleep, Dormant), Wólnish (Cultivate), and $ó'a (Bloom), with each section exploring the eras of pre-contact, post-contact, present, and future.
Collectively, these pieces portray the multifarious effects of colonization on Indigenous people of this area, from the California Mission system, to the traumatic assimilationist policies that are still felt today. At the same time, a focus on ancestral teachings, the nostalgia of growing up on the rez, and the joys of (self)love and independence can be found in a way that defies these wounds.
"Now is the time for us to tell our stories before they are written for us by anthropologists, archeologists, historians, or non-Indians. When we write for ourselves and tell our own stories, we remind the world that we are still present, existing, and resisting. We are not a part of history, but rather a continuously flourishing community of modern Indigenous people who march defiantly into the future."
Camaray Davalos (Payómkawichum/Xicana) graduated from Humboldt State University with a major in Native American Studies and a minor in Environmental Science Management. Currently, she’s delved into the world of screenwriting, but considers herself a writer of many forms. Through her writing she aims to portray a uniquely genuine perspective of what it means to be Payómkawish living in today’s world.
Avelakayawaywish Macarro is a sometimes editor and a consistent fan of this collection of poets and writers. She is driven by a desire to uplift and protect Native voices, and currently works at the University of Washington as the Director of Riverways Education Partnerships. She lives in Seattle, Washington and is now freelance-editing essays and short stories.
Rebecca Macarro (Payómkawichum/Pechanga Band of Indians) works in the Pechanga Tribal Youth Department and resides in her traditional homelands in Southern California. She is also a certified Doula and tempestuous Aquarius.