Friday, October 30, 2009

Eight-legged messenger

© Pat Murkland

For all those who partake in Oct. 31 tricks or treats,
And for all who appreciate large and intensely hairy-looking crawling beings,
here is Tecqwac.
That's Tarantula in Serrano.

This male was out and about, creeping around looking for Mrs. Right several weeks ago.
In our canyon in Inland Southern California, we have a species that comes out in early fall, and a different Tecqwac who comes out in spring.
Dorothy Ramon recalled in Serrano in her cultural biography Wayta' Yawa' (2000) that when the spring Tecqwac appeared, it was a messenger:
Time to go looking for yucca blossoms to harvest for food.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Dragonfly Lectures

The last two Dragonfly Lectures for 2009:
November 16, 6 p.m.
The Art of Gerald Clarke, Jr.
Gerald Clarke is a contemporary Cahuilla artist. There seems to be no limit on the media he explores, whether it's bronze or video or a combination of both.

We'll be posting more about Gerald Clarke's art.

BIO: He was born in Hemet in 1967 and is a tribal leader on the Cahuilla reservation near Anza.
He has a bachelor of arts degree in painting and sculpture from University of Central Arkansas along with an M.A. (1992) and MFA (1994) from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

He then spent about 10 years teaching at the community college and university levels, but he left his teaching job at East Central University in Oklahoma in 2003 and returned home to the reservation after his father's death.

He and his wife Stacy run cattle and own a storage business. Gerald teaches art classes at Idyllwild Arts.

Gerald has devoted his life to saving and sharing Cahuilla culture and songs.

Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
Ernest Siva: The bighorn sheep songs.
Our Dorothy Ramon Learning Center president's first Dragonfly Lecture at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center will be about the Serrano bighorn sheep songs.

Ernest Siva is believed to be the only person singing these songs recently. In 2008 he taught the songs to an apprentice and Dorothy Ramon Learning Center has been working to document and share these songs more.

Read more about the bighorn sheep songs here.

DETAILS: Lectures start at 6 p.m. at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning.
Donations at the door help us save and share our Southern California cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.

Honk if You Love Native Plants

We have had so much fun with our back-to-back Native American & Native Plant lectures.
They each drew a wonderful group of people intensely interested in the demos and discussions. If you missed these, we are going to share some info. in our upcoming blogs.

Stay tuned, because we surely will have more plant lectures.

Here is one of the videos shared by Deborah Small & Rosie Ramirez during their Dragonfly Lecture on Oct. 19, a planting song.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Native Uses of Plants, continued

If ever there were a photo to illustrate contemporary Native American uses of native plants, this is it.

Thank Rosie Ramirez and Deborah Small, our next Dragonfly Lecturers.
Yes, they will be giving a multi-media presentation:
Edible, Medicinal, Material, Ceremonial
Contemporary Ethnobotany of Southern California Indians

Who is this beautiful elder?
What plant has she gathered?
What is she going to use it for?
How is she going to prepare the plant?

Find out at our Dragonfly Lecture on Oct. 19 ... and discover much more.
Deborah Small and Rosie Ramirez also will have copies of their 2010 calendar available. Check out sample pages and see other information about native plants here.

DETAILS: 6 p.m., Oct. 19, 17 W. Hays, Banning
Donations at the door will help the Learning Center save and share Southern California Indian cultures, languages, history and traditional arts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Contemporary People & Plant Uses

Our Dragonfly Lecture on Oct. 19 is our next exploration of modern Native American uses for native plants.
This time, Rose Ramirez and Deborah Small will give their well-received and informative multi-media presentation,
Edible, Medicinal, Material, Ceremonial, Contemporary Ethnobotany of Southern California Indians.
Their 2010 calendar also will be available.

About our Dragonfly Lecturers:
Rosie Ramirez (Chumash/Yaqui) is a contemporary basket weaver who works hard to help save and revitalize cultural traditions. She also works to protect culturally important native plants, their landscapes and habitats.

from the book Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast By Margaret Dubin & Sara-Larus Tolley Heyday Books, Berkeley © 2008:

"Deborah Small is a writer, artist, and teacher and one of the cofounders of the Indian Rock Native Garden Project, an ongoing collaboration between art and anthropology students at California State University, San Marcos, and the San Luis Rey Band of LuiseƱo Indians. She documents the cultural revitalization of Native traditions in southern California, focusing on edible, medicinal, material, and ceremonial plants and their uses."


Monday Oct. 19, 6 p.m.

Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, Banning

Donations at the door will benefit the Learning Center's nonprofit mission to save and share Southern California American Indian cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweet Plant Tricks & Treats

We have a pair of Dragonfly Lectures flying in.
Both are fun evenings devoted to the modern uses of traditional plants, with special treats and offerings for participants.

We can think of no better way to mark Columbus Day than to come to a Dragonfly Lecture devoted to integrating use of traditional plant foods and medicines into our modern lives.
They're still here!

Leslie Mouriquand, Riverside County's archaeologist, plans to combine demo and lecture, a la Julia Childs.
She'll focus on mesquite, pinyon pine sap, and chia seeds.
Here's what to look for:
Info. on traditional uses and preparation.
Nutritional values.
Health benefits.

Here's where Leslie finds a source for soap:

Pinyon pine © Pat Murkland

She promises to bring mesquite seeds for gardeners and sweet mesquite cookies and chia seeds to sample (yum!). Some of her famed salves and even flour may be available for sale.

Monday, October 12, 7 p.m.
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center
17 W. Hays, Banning, CA
donations at the door help our nonprofit save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.

About Leslie Mouriquand:
"I am very interested in sharing the modern ways of integrating traditional plants for better nutrition and health, while learning more about the associated history and traditions," she writes.

"I experiment and come up with recipes and techniques to try and accomplish this, such as the pinyon sap soap (and other types), mesquite cookies and brownies, lemon chia cake, etc.

"As I have time, I do the research to learn about the chemical/nutritional/health benefits of plants, and then get into my lab (kitchen) an d see what I come up with."

Rose Ramirez and Deborah Small team up to present a multi-media presentation on some Southern California Indian edible, medicinal, material, and ceremonial plant uses.
We'll have more on this amazing duo and their work.
And yes, their long-awaited 2010 Ethnobotany Calendar will be available at the Lecture! If you haven't seen it yet, know that it is like a book inside a calendar, chock-full of information and grogeous images ... something you may want to keep past 2010.

Monday, October 19, 6 p.m.
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center
17 W. Hays, Banning, CA
donations at the door help our nonprofit save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.