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Kaziah May Hancock, Kaziah the Goat Woman

Updated on June 17, 2013

Who is Kaziah May Hancock?

One might ask, who on earth is Kaziah May Hancock, otherwise known as Kaziah the goat woman? It might be reasoned that Kaziah May Hancock must be of some importance to warrant the honor of being the recipient of the 2009 winner of The XO Awards, an award celebrating extraordinary acts of kindness. Or upon hearing the name Kaziah May Hancock as the recent subject of a documentary film directed by Amy Duzinski Janes, which will be premiering at the Berkeley Film Festival September 26th, 2009, one might wonder just who this woman really is. Perhaps if the organization called Project Compassion was mentioned suddenly the name Kaziah May Hancock may ring some bells, but then again maybe not.

So, just who is this Kaziah May Hancock that is recently receiving mention in different places in the media?

Kaziah The Goat Woman

Just who is this Kaziah May Hancock?
Just who is this Kaziah May Hancock?

Let me introduce you to the one and only, Kaziah May Hancock, Kaziah the goat woman.

In the northern Arizona desert, about 30 miles from a place now known as Colorado City, in the middle of nowhere, in a tent, Kaziah May Hancock was born into a polygamous family in the late 1940’s.

Her father, Joseph Heber Hancock had died several days before Kaziah’s birth, leaving her mother Edith Kaziah Soderburg Hancock alone with little or no chance of survival. The condition of this little family was so desperate they did not even have enough water for her mother to produce the life giving breast milk Kaziah needed so desperately to sustain her. Kaziah’s nine year old brother Rod mustered enough milk from the goats to nourish her and keep her alive, until two days later when a traveling sheepherder happened on the little family in dire need.

The pitiful scene caused the traveler to take word back to Short Creek (Colorado City) regarding the predicament the family was in, and eventually a pickup truck was sent to bring them in from the desert.

Kaziah May Hancock has had a connection and love of goats since that very day.

Book by Kaziah Hancock, Prisons of the Mind

Kaziah Hancock, a product of polygamy.

Forced into a polygamous marriage when she was barely 14 years old, Kaziah May Hancock was made to quit school and leave her childhood of innocence behind. Suffering the brutality of mental and physical abuse, she was nearly driven to suicide, until the timely death of her captor, her husband, allowed her to break free. This was not until she had spent 18 years of a living hell.

Her book, Prisons of the Mind, which was published in 1997, tells the story in vivid detail, of her fight to gain her freedom.

For this reason Kaziah May Hancock knows the  worth of freedom and how important it really is.

Kaziah May Hancock

In life Kaziah Hancock has many unfulfilled expectations, but still stays positive.

Looking forward to a real married life and contemplation of children, Kaziah May Hancock was again disappointed in both areas. Although her second husband Doug Jordan, an art instructor for the University of Utah taught her much about art, the marital relationship had much to be desired. The marriage did not endure. Kaziah May Hancock’s hopes for children were also dashed because of an illness she suffered which prevented her from being able to be pregnant.

Faced with disappointment, Kaziah commented on her inability to have children, "What a let down...but that doesn't stop me from having a mother's heart."

Again she turned to her only constant companionship she knew and cherished, that of her beloved goats.

Kaziah May Hancock's goat ranch.

The view from the window of Kaziah Hancock's studio.
The view from the window of Kaziah Hancock's studio.

Kaziah Hancock the artist.

One of Kaziah Hancock's paintings titled, A Circle of Friends.
One of Kaziah Hancock's paintings titled, A Circle of Friends.

Residing on her 15 acre Sweetwater Goat Ranch outside of Manti, Utah, Kaziah still tends her goats and speaks to them as friends.

Although there is so much more to be told about the life of the amazing Kaziah May Hancock, perhaps the most impressive of all her accomplishments is her work in the field of oil paintings. An acclaimed artist, with paintings selling upwards of $10,000, she works in her studio/bedroom using a palette knife, saving the brush for fine finish work. Her style is filled with a varied color spectrum, utilizing both warm and cool colors, however never together.  She is quick to incorporate the law of opposites in her work.

Kaziah May Hancock explains, "Everything I paint, I paint with respect. I use the laws of curves and blended shapes. I’m influenced by grace and sensitivity and by mood and feeling." She signs all of her painting with her “Kaziah, the Goat Woman” trademark.

What is so special about Kaziah Hancock? Watch the video and see for yourself.

Kaziah Hancock and Project Compassion

But what has this great artist done to merit all this attention and acclamation? Kaziah May Hancock is the creator of an organization called Project Compassion- Remembering Soldiers Who Fought For Freedom. Upon hearing about the first casualty of the Iraq War suffered in the state of Utah, James W. Cawley, Kaziah Hancock contacted the family and requested permission to paint a portrait of him to be given as a gift to them, from her. This was the beginning of the project that has now resulted in over 1000 paintings for the families of fallen soldiers from the Iraq War being given as gifts.

“I want to serve the few who have given everything for the many”, explains Kaziah Hancock.

Started by Kaziah Hancock, Project Compassion has expanded to include five volunteer artists.

The organization called Project Compassion has the sole mission of attempting the healing of loved ones through the gift of art. It is made up of a 3 person board of directors, including the founding artist Kaziah Hancock, and five volunteer artists with one part time administrative staffer.

In the words of Kaziah Hancock herself...

Kaziah Hancock states, “I started painting fallen soldiers in March of 2003 as a simple act of kindness to honor the honorable, to say to the families that someone gives a dam. Although I have never met the soldier or their families in life, I have come to meet some of the highest quality of human beings and that by knowing them and the high cost in human lives for all that we have in America, I try not to waste anything. Not time, food, clothing or my mind. I am very frugal so that I can afford to be generous. Life is too short for all of us so when I join the fallen soldiers I want to have a clear conscience when I give them a hug. They have my respect, my heart, so of course I continue to give them my hands.”

Just look at all the pictures that have been donated by Project Compassion and Kaziah Hancock.

Kaziah the goat woman, an inspiration for us all.

Thank you Kaziah May Hancock, Kaziah the goat woman.  You rock!


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a life Kaziah had. It is amazing how much good she turned it into.

    • d.william profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Wow. I was just browsing around through hub pages looking to see if anyone has done an article on the fabulous Kaziah Hancock, as i was about to put one on here.

      I don't think i can top yours. Excellent job. I look forward to reading more of your stuff. She is certainly one amazing women. dw

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Kaziah is a wonderful person! I know, I am her neighbor, her friend and greatful that she is in my world! As she spreads her love to everyone she knows!



    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      How awesome this woman is! She is totally amazing and I can hardly wait to read her book. Hugs to you Kaziah Hancock. You are one of the few and thanks to whoever brought you into the light so that we could hear about you.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      Thanks girls. I simply had to write about Kaziah Hancock. She is amazing.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Beautiful and inspirational! Thank you for sharing this with us! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Diana - what a great story! You've done a beautiful story sharing it too!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      This is wonderful. Kaziah's story is truly an inspiration and an illustration of the triumph of the human spirit. Thanks so much for this hub, Doghouse

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California


      I totally agree. Kaziah Hancock is an angel to those families I am sure.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      What an amazing story, and the portraits are fabulous! Kaziah Hancock managed to capture the spirit of each that made them not "just a soldier", but the center of some family's world.

    • solarshingles profile image


      9 years ago from london

      OMG! Diana this is an amazing story! I need to read it once again...

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      I am glad you enjoyed hearing about Kaziah Hancock. Her story is one that simply must be shared.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Eaglekiwi profile image


      9 years ago from -Oceania

      Thankyou for sharing this well written story ,what an amazing woman ,beautiful and strong inside and out ,despite her humble beginnings. Just amazing!

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Thanks for the info. This is great.

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi Storytellersrus,

      I just loved the story of Kaziah when I heard it. The videos moved me to tears. I simply had to share!

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      What an amazing gift. Thanks for sharing this story.


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