Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gregory Schaaf's counsel re Story Tree project

Event: Sunday, January 29, 2012

Of the Gregory and Angie Yan Schaaf Collection
Birgitta and I visited Gregory and Angie Schaaf at their living museum home to discuss the status of the "Story Tree of Los Alamos" project. This was Birgitta's first visit to the Schaaf home and she was overwhelmed by the comprehensive collections: pottery, tapestries, jewelry, masks, totems, paintings, sculptures, etc.

I came to seek Gregory's counsel on how to approach pueblo artists in commissioning them for prototype pots with images for our story tree. After reviewing with him our latest thoughts, he suggested a more practical way to consider the enterprise. For openers, the story tree has morphed into to story trees. This opens the approach to include the cottonwoods of the pueblo in addition to the originally envisioned chestnut tree from Russia or Ukraine. I thought especially of the great ancient cottonwood at the intersection of the plazas.

Gregory stretched my imagination to show how to keep true to the symbolism of the project while considering practicalities we'd not yet thought of. Our next board meeting will have several new options to discuss.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buffalo Deer Dance on San Ildefonso Feast Day

Event: 23 January 2012;
Updated: 16 June 12

The most important feast day of the year is in honor of San Ildefonso, patron saint of the pueblo, when the Buffalo Deer Dance is performed.

Male Figures in Costume 
Julian Martinez  

Female Figure in Costume 
Jose Encarnacion Peña

Male and Female Figures from 
Jose Encarnacion Peña

Deer Dancer
Richard Martinez  (Opa Mu Nu)

After the Dances, which featured all the costumes above and many more, we dined at Mamma Isabelle Gonzales's home with family and her tribal sheriff son, Myron Gonzales, at the head of the table. On top of the cabinet on the dining room south wall, I spied the many inserts of their wooden Russian nesting doll ("matryoshka"). It was a gift from Sister City Sarov guests. Then I asked to sing for my supper my favorite Russian folk song about a birch tree. Myron thought it was worth an "American Idol" appearance. "Too old", I said, to which an old woman seated on my left declared. "Not so! Indians never grow too old!"