Carmelita “Carm” Little Turtle was an Apache/Tarahumara photographer born in Santa Maria, California, on June 4, 1952. Her hand-painted, sepia-toned photographs explore gender roles, women’s rights and the relationships between women and men. Little Turtle’s constructed photographic tableaux cast her husband, her relatives, and herself as characters in a variety of Southwestern landscapes that serve as backdrops to the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.
Little Turtle attended the Navajo Community College, graduating in 1978. She also attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she studied photography. Additionally, she studied photography at the College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California. She first began schooling in order to become a nurse before deciding to become an artist. She was also known for being both a producer and photographer with Shenandoah Films in Arcata, California from 1980 to 1983.