Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Los Angeles, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10215
Approve DateOctober 7, 2021
Project TitleEagle, Viki (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "Ancestors Rez Metal "An Indigenous Sonic Resistance" "
Rez Metal is a subversive form of musical expression that began to impact the Southwest Reservations during the 1980s and early 2000s. This genre inspired Native American youth to start their own bands and groups. This research focuses on self-representation, meaning-making, and anticolonial resistance in the ‘underground scene’ of ‘Rez Metal.’ ‘Rez’ is an acronym referring to ‘Indian reservations’ in North America. Both a slang term and rooted in both physical location and cultural meaning, in what it means ‘to be Rez’ or ‘that is Rez”. This scene created a community that brought families to local concerts during the early 2000s with over 100 Native American bands performing across the four corner states. While each of these scenes have changed significantly after 2010, Native heavy metal musicians continue to exist even through the COVID-19 pandemic. I plan to explore how music artists have challenged dominant historical narratives that continued to invisibilize Indigenous Peoples and reproduce prevailing stereotypes of poverty, isolations or desolation of the reservation. Ancestor Rez Metal seeks to understand how manifestations of Rez Metal embody a form of anti-colonial resistance rooted in community-based approaches that speak from socio-historical experiences of resilience while also deconstructing racist stereotypes of disenfranchisement.