Tuesday 30 January 2007

"I Am a Magician! Yes!"

On jamaicans.com, JitterBug has filed a very nice trip report from December and January entitled "Driving Alone thru Jamaica", which somewhat miraculously includes this lovely shot of our very dear friends,
Happy New Year! to All...


Saturday 27 January 2007

Resources: Geography and Culture

Regarding the local geographical-historical-cultural cognizance which should be preserved and promulgated everywhere...

One book "everyone" "should" read is Where the Lightning Strikes, by Peter Nabokov

(From Publishers Weekly (via amazon )
According to UCLA professor Nabokov (Native American Testimony), the places that American Indians call sacred may be as wondrous as "cliffs spilling with waterfalls" and as humble as "caves splattered with bat excrement." What makes them important is not postcard-perfect beauty but the beliefs a group has about "what lies within or beneath what the eye can see."

This excellent volume presents the "biographies" of 16 such places, from Maine to California. Through them, Nabokov surveys a wide range of Native American spiritual practices and reveals how intrusions into Native Americans' land have also constituted assaults upon their religious beliefs. Indeed, many of the assaults continue to this day: after the disruptions caused by war, disease, missionary activity and forced relocation came those of hydroelectric dams, agribusiness, parking lots and extreme sports buffs.
Nabokov's deeply informed text is enhanced by first-person accounts of his visits to the locations and by his spirited commentary on the writings of other ethnographers, naturalists, linguists and anthropologists. Sentimental clichés and monolithic views are dismantled along the way. Each of Nabokov's biographies can be savored separately; taken together, they demonstrate both that there is "more to some American places than [meets] the eye" and that Native Americans have known that for a very long time.

also have a look at this -->
tremendous web reference :

thirdly, ILL or buy the landmark
A Sto:lo-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, edited by Keith Thor Carlson and produced with the full cooperation of the Sto: lo Nation

Indigenous geography: Invisible history of tribes gets a hearing

Posted: May 11, 2004
Jerry Reynolds / Indian Country Today

WASHINGTON - Indians have often been termed the invisible citizens of the Americas, but they have risen dramatically on the national visibility horizon in recent years. But the invisible history of tribes over the past 500-plus years has only begun to be appreciated.
One of the most notable recent examples of making Native history visible has been "A Sto:lo Coast Salish Historical Atlas." The many Geographic Information Systems maps therein correct the record and restore Native identity so convincingly that they may alter history in Canada, where title to the entire province of British Columbia is contested.
Though the GIS-generated maps make up only a portion of the knowledge conveyed in the atlas, they are among its most stunning features. The Sto:lo Nation has mapped and charted the traditional transport arteries, settlement patterns, first-contact accounts, pre-contact trade routes and terms of commerce, a variety of environmental conditions and resource indices, glaciation cycles, family migrations, kinship holdings and ownership transfer protocols of the potlatch, Halqemeyem language place names with historical and mythic significance and English translations as well.
The book is a model of depth and quality in the assertion of cultural identity...[snip]

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Tuesday 23 January 2007

Imogene Bowen, Upper Skagit elder, dies at 71

We'll be thinking of Imogene Bowen from now through the Eagle festival in two weeks...

i learned of Ms Bowen's passing from http://www.indianz.com/News/2007/017659.asp You can read her obituary in the Seattle Times

Imogene Bowen, an elder of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington who fought for voting rights, racial harmony and environmental justice, died from cancer on January 5. She was 71.


Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival

The Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival will be happening again soon: February 3rd and 4th (Super Sunday), in and around Concrete, Washington (map).

It's a very nice, local-feeling, grass-rootsy event. Come visit! There will be a variety of great activities inside at the schools in Concrete, and eagle viewing for a number of miles along the beautiful and mighty Skagit

Here's the Schedule of Activities at the Concrete HS/elementary complex:
(we're going on saturday and planning to participate in the red-lettered events. The Speakers page on the festival website gives more info about the various presentations on the schedule and about the speakers who will be giving them... )

Saturday, February 3, 2007
7:30-10:30 a.m. Biscuits ‘n Gravy Breakfast - Senior Center, Concrete (yum gravy)
8:30-9:00 a.m. Teacher Clock Hours Registration - Concrete High School
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Volkswalk registration & event - High School Multi-purpose Room
10:00-5:00 p.m. Artisan’s Gallery Open - High School Gym
10:00-11:00 a.m. Speaker: “Where do Savvy Urban Merlins and Crows Choose to Live?” - Band Room
10:00-11:00 a.m. Speaker: “The First People, Environments and spirits of the Upper Skagit River” - Library
10:00-4:30 p.m. Salmon Story Telling Tent And Children’s Activities - Commons
11:00-12:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center presentation “Hunters of the Sky” - Multi-purpose Room
11:00-4:00 p.m. Guided Bus Tour Middle School Entrance
*12:00-1:00 p.m. Speaker (Pauline Hillaire! -- see below): “Legends and Stories of The Elders” - Band Room *
1:00-2:30 p.m. Old-Timers Get-Together - Elementary School Library
1:00-2:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center presentation “Hunters of the Sky" - Multi-purpose Room
2:00-3:00 p.m. Speaker: “Voices Along the Skagit: Teaching the History of the First People in the Skagit River Watershed - Library
2:00-3:00 p.m. Speakers: Eagle Festival Poster Contest Winners - Band Room
3:00-4:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center presentation “Hunters of the Sky” - Multi-purpose Room
3:00-7:00 p.m. Salmon Dinner - Cafeteria

3:30-5:00 p.m. Flute Circle Gathering - Elementary School Gym
5:30 p.m. Festival Mainstage Event : performers include Tsimshian Haayuk dance group, and Gene Tagaban (pictured at right) – Master Storyteller - Elementary School Gym

Sunday, February 4, 2007
8:30-9:00 a.m. Teacher Clock Hours registration - Concrete High School
9:00-1:00 p.m. Volkswalk registration & event - High School Multi-purpose Room
10:00-5:00 p.m. Artisan’s Gallery Open - High School Gym
10:00-4:30 p.m. Salmon Story Telling Tent And Children’s Activities - Commons
10:00-4:30 p.m. Planetarium - Multi-purpose Room
10:00-3:00 p.m. Guided Bus Tour - Middle School Entrance
10:00-11:00 a.m. Speaker: “Song of the Salish Sea” - Band Room
10:00-11:00 a.m. Speaker: “A Look to the Future: The Fish Program at the Baker River Project” - Library
11:00-12:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center “Hunters of the Sky" - Multi-purpose Room
12:00-1:00 p.m. Speaker: “Song of the Salish Sea” - Band Room
12:00-1:00 p.m. Speaker: “A Year in the Life of An Upper Skagit Eagle” - Library
1:00-2:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center “Hunters of the Sky” - Multi-purpose Room
1:00 p.m. Raffle Drawing begins—runs Throughout the afternoon - Multi-purpose Room
2:00-3:00 p.m. Speaker: “A Look to the Future: The Fish Program at the Baker River Project” - Library
3:00-4:00 p.m. Sardis Raptor Center “Hunters of the Sky” - Multi-purpose Room

Entertainment At A Glance:

Saturday, February 3rd

10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Entertainers in the
Northwest Artisan Gallery
Celtic harp, classical guitar, and
Native American flute
3:30 pm, Concrete Elementary School Library: Flute Circle with Peter Ali
5:30 pm, Concrete Elementary Gym: Festival Main Event, with Tsimshian Haayuuk, (pictured at right) Native Alaskan Cultural Dancers (we've seen them several times--wonderful!)
Gene Tagaban, Native American storytelling, dancing and flute

Sunday, February 4th
12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Entertainers in the Northwest Artisan Gallery:
Folk/world beat vocals - guitar &
Native American flute

* the highlight for us of last year's festival was the storytelling of beautiful and wise Lummi elder Pauline Hillaire. We are so glad to see that she will be attending and sharing more stories with us again this year! If you have any thought of attending, her presence alone certainly makes it worthwhile!

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Friday 19 January 2007

Mt. Ararat

thought you'd like to see this image of Mount Ararat, "Holy Mountain" of Armenia
(erroneously within Turkish borders atm)
we've added links to some Armenian blogs and websites
Armenian-Turkish border, Khor Virap, Ararat Region, Republic of Armenia
© Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2004


Tuesday 16 January 2007

Cow Creek and Umpqua

Cow Creek, Oregon

we stopped here to rest on our recent drive back from california

a blessed-feeling locale

ever since seeing the name Umpqua for the first time (on Magnolia Farms lamb) we've wanted to visit the area...

turns out we were "there" already..
on the lands of the Cow Creek Umpqua band


Friday 5 January 2007

seen in vancouver after a reading of SlimeWars

outside the chinese restaurant we patronized

if you can't read the shoes, one says "BARDO", the other "LOGOS"

we did not put the shoes up there


Re:Festivals: Coupeville Water Festival

T'ruth took these pictures of the canoe "Stahlo Princess" at last year's Penn Cove Water Festival

We're not canoers (yet) but it seemed like a longish course: miles, anyway

This one is on the way out:
& this is almost at the finish

(From the Bellingham Herald report on the Lummi Stommish festival, 6/19/06:

War canoes, created from a single piece of cedar, are up to 50 feet long....
The canoe of Stahlo Princess, a ladies team except for skipper [Ralph] Jefferson, is painted pink and white.
Training includes two-hour daily workouts, healthy eating and abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It's a commitment, Jefferson says.
"It's a really, really hard sport," he said.
But the winning races made it all worth it, he said.
"It's awesome. This is what it's all about. It's part of who we are. It's been going on for thousands of years."
"These ladies really are champions," he said.

regarding canoes and culture...
I also came, websurfing, across the following in the Juneau Empire (3/15/05) this morning:

Tribes welcome and thank visitor for canoe

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - When Gerald "Woody" Woodside brought a handmade canoe to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Center, he might have expected a word of thanks.
But tribal members who had assembled for a meeting there celebrated his surprise gift in traditional ways - singing and dancing for an hour and presenting him with gifts in return.
Woodside was a stranger from Port Gamble when he showed up at the center Saturday with a 21-foot cedar-and-fiberglass canoe atop his truck. The interior is built of cedar strips and the outside is shiny black fiberglass with bright orange trim.
He wanted to donate the canoe to youth of the Lower Elwha Klallam, calling the gift simply "a good thing to do."
"I kind of surprised them with it," he told the Peninsula Daily News.
On hand were 80 people who were planning this summer's Tribal Journey, in which people from coastal tribes will travel by canoe from parts of Canada and Washington to a gathering in Port Angeles.
Fourteen men lifted the canoe from the truck and brought it into the center's gym, where they circled the basketball court, then set the craft down on tumbling mats at midcourt.
There it was blessed by elder Johnson Charles, the Lower Elwha Klallam's spiritual adviser. Singers from several tribes took turns chanting songs of celebration and thanks. When they finished, the whole group joined in the "Journey Song."
"This is a vessel that takes us to different places," said Ray Fryberg, a Tulalip tribes member, "different places in the land, different places in our lives."
"How many people can the canoe hold?" asked Michael Evans, skipper of the Snohomish tribe's canoe, the Blue Heron. "An infinite number, but only four or five at a time. So fill it full of people again and again. Fill it full of young people."


we also heard the Tulalip Family Singers at the Penn Cove Festival, which are led I believe by the above-mentioned Ray Fryberg ; they are a very inspiring family performance group. Do not miss them if they perform in your area!


Back At It

well we've returned from our wonderful whirlwind visit to the Golden State

we have pictures which we'll be able to upload soon

Highlights of the trip:

  • we were most fortunate on this trip to be able to attend 65th birthday celebrations for our Spiritual Friend, the most wondrous E.J. Gold, and to experience the perfect hospitality of his circle of friends

  • in Nevada City, CA., The Truffle Shop is a true outpost of culture... they had a hard time getting rid of us!

  • If you're ever in Sacramento, thinking "whoa. people live here! by choice!": head right over to the Steiner College in Fair Oaks, a restorative oasis, and particularly to visit Raphael Gardens...

above image courtesy of http://www.worldsanctuaries.com/

Certainly the most wonderful place we've ever visited in the Sacramento area