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Kaziah May Hancock, Kaziah the Goat Woman
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
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.
Kaziah Hancock the artist.
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.
- Deseret News | Manti woman ensures a painting of each fallen soldier goes to kin
Manti woman ensures a painting of each fallen soldier goes to kin
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!