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Kaziah May (The Goat Woman) Hancock

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Kaziah May (The Goat Woman) Hancock

(1948 - )

From the goat milk that kept her alive in the barren Arizona desert since birth to the goats that she raised on her ranch just south of Manti, Kaziah Hancock is more than proud to bare the nickname “The Goat Woman.” Her paintings usually show the goats that have profoundly influenced her life, or are depictions of service men and women who have fallen in foreign wars or succumbed to depression and suicides at home. However, her interests are varied as she is also known for landscapes, inventive portraits and even a recent series celebrating pop icons. Hancock is nothing short of a character, currently living comfortably in a cabin with her dog, six cats, eight more wild cats she cares for and of course, her goats. She has received a wide variety of awards, including those from military organizations. She is open about her past life in polygamy, which is colorful yet disturbing, but a topic she can be open ad venerable about. She has published books of details biographies of her life and her personal experience with polygamy. Hancock grew up rebellious, yet in 1960 she became the third wife of James Reed Stratton. She explained that wanted to be an artist from the day she got her first coloring book. At the age of 13 she was given a canvas and paints by her mother, but her husband destroyed them saying they were a waste of her time. She recounts this experience as the “making of Kaziah.” Her life consisted of back breaking labor with all of the money going to her husband, until after sixteen years she left. The divorce was difficult to complete, yet she obtained a restraining order from the police and started a recycling company. She began to take private lessons from an art teacher at Salt Lake Community College whom she still calls “the love of her life. “ After years of teaching her how to paint, they fell in love and got married. After a couple years however, he brought home another wife. Feeling used, and not willing to enter that lifestyle again she left him. She has continued working, her courage allowing her to paint many traumatic events, such as 9/11, and her venerability in expressing her feelings has been able to be a release for many others as well. She still lives in Manti with her goats, and considers herself one of them.

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