Why Kansas Representative Christina Haswood Wore Regalia While Being Sworn In



On Monday, Christina Haswood was officially sworn into the Kansas House of Representatives, in which she now represents District 10 (Douglas County). The Navajo Democrat, who is a public health professional, may just be embarking on her new role in the Kansas legislature, but she’s already making history. At 26, she is currently the youngest member of the legislature, and only its second Native American member. 

For the historic moment, Haswood knew she wanted to use her swearing-in ceremony this week to highlight her culture. So, she took her oath wearing traditional Diné regalia, which included moccasins, a velveteen skirt, and a red blouse with silver embellishments that was made by herself, her mother, and her partner. “I wanted to honor my ancestors and all their sacrifices for me to be here and in this job,” Haswood told Vogue of the style choice. “I wanted to honor my family, who has taught me how to be a strong, young, Diné woman while growing up in Lawrence, Kansas.” 

For accessories, Haswood chose heirlooms passed down to her from family members, including a striking squash blossom necklace; a sash belt gifted to her by her uncle and buckled belt given to her by her shimá sání (grandmother); earrings gifted by her great grandmother; and a tsiiyéé, a Navajo-style hair tie, made by Haswood and her shimá sání. “The significance of these pieces are priceless,” Haswood says. “Many of the pieces I wore that day only come out on special occasions, because of how old they are. I don’t have the funds to be a collector, so many of my pieces have been passed down to my mother, who lets me borrow them.”



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