Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flutes at the Festival

© Pat Murkland
A beautiful day in Banning, views of the snow-covered mountaintops, and a downtown holiday festival with lots of free fun for families.
What could be more perfect?
Answer: Antonio Flores teaching people of all ages how to make and play flutes.

Antonio Flores left Oakland at midnight to come and volunteer all day at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center. Making and sharing flutes is his joy.

We thank Antonio Flores for creating joy for so many when he helps people discover Native American cultures and music.

He teaches how to make the small Pomo-style flutes of elder.
He also teaches how to play them.
© Pat Murkland

While the future flutists are making their flutes, he often talks about local flutes and Southern California music. Often, an enthused crowd surrounds him.

When each person has made his or her flute, Antonio Flores often "tests" it, that is, he plays it, "to make sure it works."

What was only recently a stick from an elderberry bush bursts forth with beautiful music. Each flute has its own voice — two voices, really, since one can play it at both ends.

Antonio Flores came to the Phineas Festival with a bunch of long sticks and cut branches.
Nearly 100 people left the festival with their own handmade flutes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

See you Nov. 27

We had big plans for the Phineas Festival of Lights in downtown Banning.
But the weather had bigger plans: Rain.
Organizers have postponed this event until Saturday, Nov. 27.
So come Discover the Center next weekend.
Here are some fun activities we're planning...

Antonio Flores returns!

Larry Parks Photo

Our good friend from Oakland loves teaching people how to make Pomo-style flutes.
And how to play them.
The wood is elder.
Each flute has its own voice.
The one you make is fitted just for you.
Whenever Antonio Flores appears,
a crowd soon gathers.
Long after an event ends, there is often still a crowd of flute-makers.
Read about one of Antonio's previous visits HERE.

More ...

Discover the Center and join the excitement.
We'll have refreshments and flute music.

Still more ...

Find out why we have dragonflies on our doors.
Make dragonflies.
Learn the Dragonfly Song.

See you on Nov. 27.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The festival will offer snow, arts and crafts, firetruck rides, and much more. Read about it here. (But remember the new date is Nov. 27.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waat Tonight

Everyone is invited to Waat: A Celebration of California's First Cultures.
Native American singers and dancers from Northern and Southern California will join in a show of cultural unity to share the sights and sounds of their ancient traditions.

Pomo singers from Northern California will join Serrano, Cahuilla and Mohave traditional singers starting at 6 p.m. at Crafton Hills College Performing Arts Center, Yucaipa, CA.

Arts and crafts, displays and demonstrations also will be part of the event.

Jacque Nunez, a tribal descendant of the Acjachemen Nation and amazing storyteller, will moderate the event.

See a replica American Indian village at Waat.

What does Waat mean? That is the Serrano Indian name for the region where today we find the community college. Waat means juniper.

Address: 11711 Sand Canyon Rd., Yucaipa.
More information HERE.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

© Pat Murkland 2010
Kiich means house in Serrano.
Pronounce: kii as in "turn the key" and ch as in "children"

Every month is Native American Heritage Month
at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.

But in November we especially take pride in the national celebration of our American Indian cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

November is a good time to discover Ahunika'.
Discover The Center at these activities and events:

Nov. 13
Native American Flute Class
This class starts on Nov. 13 and will be meeting every second Saturday.
Bring your flute, learn to play with your heart.
Performance-oriented class led by flutists from Inland Empire Flute Circle.
Only $10. Proceeds will go toward Dorothy Ramon Learning Center's nonprofit work.
Where: The Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning, CA.
When: 6-9 p.m.

© Pat Murkland 2010
Ernest Siva plays the flute

Nov. 15
Serrano Language and Culture Class
Every first and third Monday, learn Serrano language and songs, and explore Serrano culture with Elder Ernest H. Siva, president of the Center.
Where: The Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning, CA.
When: 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 18
14th annual Banning Unified School District
Cultural Celebration
Enjoy Native American storytelling, singing, dancing, arts, crafts, food.

© Pat Murkland 2010
Jacque Nunez tells a story.

See a replica Indian village.
Try Indian frybread.
Participants include Morongo Bird Singers and Dancers, Daughters of Morongo, Jacque Nunez, Ernest Siva.
Co-sponsored by Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, Banning High Indian Club, Banning Unified Indian Education, RSBCIHI Native Challenge Project.
Where: Banning High School, 100 W. Westward, Banning, CA.
When: 5:15 p.m.

Nov. 19
Waat: A Celebration of California's First Cultures
Bird singing, dancing, storytelling, cultural demonstrations and displays.
Replica Indian village.
Co-sponsored by San Manuel Tribal Cultural Awareness Program, Crafton Hills Community College, Yucaipa Valley Historical Society, Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.
Where: Crafton Hills College, Yucaipa, CA
When: 6 p.m.

Nov. 20
The Center at the Phineas Festival
Discover Ahunika' during Banning's downtown holiday festival.
Open house, music, arts, crafts, fun.
Where: The Center, 17 W.Hays, Banning, CA
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

© Pat Murkland 2010

Discover the Center. Please join us.