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Ashley Kahsaklahwee Paves a Path for Native American Models - page 2

By Jeff Ferrantino on January 31, 2007

Ashley Kahsaklahwee, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, freeones, artistic, nude, naked, Native American, sexy, hot, young, modelInitially, it was the Native American industry that took Kahsaklahwee under its wing as she went about pursuing her modeling aspirations.

"I've worked for pretty much every Native company there is," says Kahsaklahwee. "Clothing companies, calendar companies and so on. It eventually took on a life of its own and it became one of these things where I started getting outside of the Native world and into the more modern fashion-type jobs that I wanted."

Two years ago, Kahsaklahwee packed her bags for Los Angeles, leaving behind her Oklahoma roots. Being on the run was nothing new to Kahsaklahwee, who was given the Indian name of "Little Quail" when she was about 8 years old.

"I was given that name by a tribal elder," Kahsaklahwee shares. "He said, 'You're like a little quail, you just never stop moving — run, run, run.' And that's true, I'd move around all the time and I'm very small, so it stuck. I'll never shake it. My father, I don't even think he knows my real name — it's just Quail."

While she has always been known for being on the run, Kahsaklahwee confesses that the move out west was extremely difficult for her. "When I first came to Los Angeles, I was trying to find pow-wows and trying to find other tribal members to hang out with," she says. "That was a bit of a challenge."

I'm a huge contradiction," she continues. "Aren't all women though? I'm a contradiction in that I'm very modern, very city, but then I still have that flip side to me that I like to go back to my dad's 800-plus acres and ride horses and be away from everything."

Eventually, Kahsaklahwee settled in and went to work on her modeling career. Initially, she starting doing artistic-type shoots and mixing Native culture. Eventually, the major magazines caught wind and the rest you might say is history.

"I was the fastest girl to sign with Mystique Magazine," she says. "They saw me and they signed me in three days. I was the first Native model they ever shot."

Most recently, Kahsaklahwee was featured in the December issue of Esquire Magazine. She will be doing the cover and another layout for Esquire again soon, and she also recently completed an ad for Spike TV.

In addition to her many projects, Kahsaklahwee is also beginning to study acting. She was recently cast in the lead female role in "The Theory of Beauty," a film written and directed by Keith Payne. Kahsaklahwee's role is truly a case of art imitating life, as her character is half-white and half-Indian and the film portrays the racism that she faces in her daily life and how she fights for her culture.

"I had no acting experience, but they gave me the job," Kahsaklahwee admits. "I just read the script and it's a story that has to be told. It's so very near and dear to my heart because it exposes a lot of the things that people don't really realize that go on today with Native culture."