A video celebrating the Navajo Nation documents the evolution of style and beauty of the Native American tribe during the last century.
Starting with a natural look from 1910 accessorized with turquoise jewelry, the student models a look for each decade up to the present day as a Dakota Access Pipeline protester.
Evolution: Sage Honga, left in 1910 style and right in the look of the present day, celebrated her Navajo Nation roots by modeling looks of the Native American tribe through time
Contrast: A video celebrating the Navajo Nation, also known as Diné, documents the evolution of style and beauty of the tribe during the last 100 years
Other styles featured in the video include a bright printed head scarf in the 1930s, elegant hair decoration in the 1950s and voluminous hair with a center parting for the 1980s.
For her Nineties look, Sage wears braids and does a peace sign, while for the current decade she wears bright red lipstick and the words ‘No DAPL’ emblazoned on her arm.
In an interview about the project, Sage said her mother Charlotte, who assisted with styling, ‘proudly’ spoke the Navajo language with her when she was growing up.
‘When I hear her talk to me in Navajo it’s just so comforting to me, it makes me feel at home and it makes me feel closer to her and my grandmothers, the women in my family, it reminds me of who I am,’ she said.
Sage said she struggles with the appropriation of Navajo design – such as the recently settled legal battle between Urban Outfitters and Navajo Nation over the brand’s use of the tribe’s name and patterns on underwear and other garments – and costumes.
Elegant: The student, who is of Navajo descent, showcases the styles of each decade, including 1920s, pictured
Bright: For 1930s style she wears a colorful printed headscarf, pictured
‘I always have a hard time around Halloween, Columbus Day and I guess Thanksgiving. It’s always the hardest for a lot of native people.
‘Anything that Native Americans wear, there’s a process, it’s done with prayer, song. That kind of stuff with the costumes, panties, it’s just everything against our tradition.
‘It’s everything against that we stand for and it doesn’t represent us in any way, shape or form,’ she said.
In the shoot Sage wears some of her own pieces, others sourced by Cut and items from the Heard Museum.
She said: ‘The video focuses mainly on the jewelry and how it went from just turquoise like the rocks to adding metal to adding the different shapes to it.
Connection: Sage, pictured in 1940s style, said her mother Charlotte, who assisted with styling, ‘proudly’ spoke the Navajo language with her when she was growing up
Personal touch: In the shoot Sage, pictured in 1950s style, wears some of her own pieces
Imitation: Sage, modelling a Sixties look, said she struggles with the appropriation of Navajo design
‘Make-up wasn’t really our thing and when I was in school going to middle school my mom she told me, “don’t wear too much.”
‘She always told me “wear as little as possible” because you have natural beauty, embrace it.
‘I feel weird, I feel like I look weird with a lot of make-up on, like I feel like it doesn’t look like me.’
She said she would like to go to Standing Rock in North Dakota to join the No DAPL protest but she cannot take the time out from school.
Sage: ‘It’s very powerful even just watching it, it’s very powerful. My heart and my spirit is calling me up there but it’s just I can’t drop school right now.’
Natural look: Sage, modelling Seventies style, said she was encouraged to wear minimal make-up when she was growing up
Glamorous: Sage, pictured in Eighties style, said she feels ‘weird’ when she wears a lot of make-up
Making a stand: Sage, pictured left in Nineties style and right in Noughties, said she would like to go to Standing Rock in North Dakota to join the No DAPL protes
Charlotte added: ‘I really would like to go up there and feel the spirit, hear the prayers, hear the songs.’
When asked what Navajo means to them, Sage said: ‘It’s everything. It’s so powerful, it’s strong, it’s tough.’
Charlotte added: ‘It’s how you carry yourself every day to me, I was taught.
‘There’s a saying in Navajo. We’re always taught to walk in beauty and it’s about the way we think, the way we talk, our behavior, that should all be in a positive way.
‘Beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty above me and beauty beneath me.’