Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dragonfly Gala Wear

What to wear to the Aug. 8 Dragonfly Gala?
We were asked this question just the other day. 

Stuffy formal banquet? Not us.
(The Gala this year returns with the 2008 cook, Karen Castillo.
Quite simply, the gala will again offer some of the best foods you've ever tasted. 
And Ernest Siva again will bring peach, blueberry, and other cobblers for dessert. 
Last year the cobbler commanded its own food station, where a large crowd, intensely silent, focused on decision-making: what kind of cobbler to select.)
So stuffy formal banquet clothing is OUT. 

Community get-together? Yes. Inter-tribal? Yes.
The Gala celebrates Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts. 
The event can only be summed up as The Annual Dragonfly Gala.

Say YES to Dragonfly-themed jewelry and clothing.
Wear clothes in which you can DANCE to traditional music.

© Carlos Puma for the Learning Center
Ernest Siva in 2008,
wearing his Dragonfly bolo and bighorn songs t-shirt
(At the Gala, he and his apprentice sang the Serrano bighorn sheep songs in public for the first time together).

This year's theme is Indian cowboys. 
If you'd like, go Western ... or should we say, gala Western!

Aug. 8, 4 to 8 p.m., Morongo Community Center.
History exhibits; artwork; demonstrations; history game.
$45, or tables for $1,000;$2,000;$3,000.
RSVP 951 849 4676 or info at

All proceeds benefit the nonprofit work of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.
We thank our gala major sponsor, San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

At Your Bidding

More items for the Dragonfly Gala's Silent Auction on Aug. 8:

Small Basket.

Maricopa Olla. 

Big Dragonfly Plate (aerial view).

Please join us! Details are HERE.

All proceeds will help Dorothy Ramon Learning Center save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

We thank San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians, our major gala 2009 sponsor.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not Silent About the Silent Auction, 2009

The Dragonfly Gala silent auction has become THE place to find artwork you cannot find anywhere else, and this year is no exception. 
Here are a few items:
Navajo purse

Bear gourd box, open

Same bear gourd box, closed

This beautiful gourd box is very large, with hand-carving and painted designs of acorns and oak leaves.

This was found in an antique store. It looks like New Mexican pottery, doesn't it?
It IS a Pueblo pottery design, and it is signed by the Native American artist. But it's a GOURD!

Dragonfly Gala Details Are Here:
• Celebrating Indian Cowboys on Aug. 8.  from 4 to 8 p.m.
• Morongo Community Center, Morongo Reservation
• Good food!
• Indian cowboy history exhibits and demonstrations.
• Yucca and dogbane cord-making demonstration.
• Photo art exhibit of contemporary Indian cowboys, by Carlos Puma.
• Art exhibit.
• Gilman Ranch 1800s ranch gadgets game.
• Silent auction (thank you to our auctioneers from the Yucaipa Valley Historical Society).
• Traditional singing and dancing.
• Dragonfly Award.
Tickets: $45, or tables for $1,000; $2,000; $3,000. RSVP 951.849.4676 or info at

All will benefit the Nonprofit 501(c)(3) work of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, which saves and shares Southern California Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts. 

We thank our major gala sponsor, San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You've Got Dragonfly Gala Mail

The invitations to the Dragonfly Gala are in the mail!
This year's theme for our Aug. 8 event is Indian Cowboys.
Every year Gerald Clarke Jr. of Cahuilla Reservation designs our invitation artwork, and it seems that every year he outdoes himself. 
Featured here are area Indian cowboy brands, including Gerald's.

Aug. 8, Morongo Community Center
Celebrate our theme, Indian Cowboys:
• See exhibits, demonstrations, and more.
• Enjoy Photo Exhibit of contemporary Indian cowboys.
• Share cowboy memories and history.
• Eat delicious food!
• Enjoy traditional Native American singing and dancing.
• Join us in honoring the recipient of the Dragonfly Award for soaring achievements in saving and sharing our traditional American Indian cultures.
• Don't miss our famed Silent Auction!

It all benefits Dorothy Ramon Learning Center's nonprofit work to save and share our Southern California Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.
Tickets, please RSVP: $45 per person and $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 tables available.
We thank our 2009 sponsor, San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rock Art Rocks

Southern California's prehistoric rock art is beautiful ...
Sometimes mysterious,
Often mystical.
While archaeologists study the meanings, this ancient art often touches onlookers emotionally, evoking awe and wonder.

One cannot simply hop in the car and go out looking at great rock art. This is true of just about every archaeological treasure.
Although the art and other artifacts have survived untold years, all are increasingly fragile. Many sites have been destroyed. Others are being protected from further destruction.
Many sites are difficult to reach.
And a few public sites, like those at
Anza-Borrego State Park, or Corn Springs, are just downright sizzling hot this time of year.

At our next Dragonfly Lecture, Britt W. Wilson will explore recent archaeological discoveries in the desert, and more.

If you are among the fortunate folks who came to his recent lecture on rock shelters, you know he'll offer a fabulous tour. You can take it all in without ever leaving your (air-conditioned) seat. This is one in a continuing group of lectures we're offering on our region's archaeology.

The details:
When: 6 p.m. Monday, July 20
Where: Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning, CA
What else: Donations at the door support our 501(c)(3) nonprofit work to save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not Found in the Books

UC Riverside Professor Clifford E. Trafzer on the power of learning and listening the first history of the Americas ... from the sources:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dragonfly Gala 2009

Here's a micro version of a poster for our Dragonfly Gala on Aug. 8, featuring the stunning artwork by Gerald Clarke, Jr. of Cahuilla Reservation. The brands are but a few of those used by the region's Indian cowboys. Our artist is also an Indian cowboy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Leadership in Sharing Culture

Teaching kids about Southern California music © Pat Murkland Photo
James Ramos, tribal chairman of San Manuel Reservation, is profiled in the Press-Enterprise newspaper today
One of the original board members of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center when our nonprofit formed ... (has it already been six years ago? wow), he remains on our board and is one of our strongest supporters. 
Among his many accomplishments: 
He was instrumental in starting California Native American Day every fourth Friday in September. 
It's not a holiday but instead a day when people are encouraged to learn about our state's many Indian nations and their cultures.

 An annual weeklong Cultural Awareness conference at Cal State San Bernardino to date has taught more than 12,000 schoolchildren about these cultures and traditions so integral to our national heritage. 
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center is an active partner and participant.

California Native American Day started because James Ramos saw many misperceptions about Indians, including in schools, and he wanted people to know:
• California History did not begin with the arrival of explorers and settlers.
• California Indians didn't live in teepees.
• Southern Californians didn't use drums.
He currently is chairman of the California Native American Heritage Commission and president of the San Bernardino Community College board.