Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hopping Toward the Art Hop

Storytelling, singing, and crafts will help create a Native American festival within Banning’s downtown Art Hop on May 7.

It will all add up to free family fun — and learning about American Indians — at the nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.

The Banning Cultural Alliance leads the Art Hop, offering a day of free arts and culture annually to thousands of people.

The Center will be in the center of it all!

DETAILS: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. MAY 7 ... The Center at the corner of San Gorgonio Avenue and Hays Street in Banning, CA.

A few of our planned activities:

Free flute-making. In his previous visits Antonio Flores has been surrounded by a large crowd of people of all ages who enjoy making and taking home their Pomo-style wooden flutes.

© Pat Murkland

Demonstrations of pottery, basketry and other traditional arts. Children also can make their own small baskets in cultural arts workshops led by Jacque Nunez (Acjachemen).

Serrano Indian tools and toys. Tools to try, and toys to make and take home, with volunteers from San Bernardino County Museum. Learn how to work a prehistoric drill, for example, or make a toy that was once used to hone hunting skills.

Or play a fun guessing game!

There's much more:

Storytelling and singing with the California Indian Storytellers Association and tradition-keepers from throughout Southern California.

Presenters will include Center President Ernest Siva (Cahuilla/Serrano);

Ernest Siva Photo © Carlos Puma for the Center

Jacque Nunez (Acjachemen);

Other presenters are Barbara Drake (Tongva);

Barbara Drake Photo © Carlos Puma for The Center

Kim Marcus (Cahuilla/Serrano);

... And Kat High, director of Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center near Los Angeles.

Still MORE: A film, Songs of the Colorado. SEE A PREVIEW HERE.

Daniel Golding’s film explores Native American music traditions along both sides of the Colorado River. The songs have been passed down through generations and the film chronicles the culture bearers’ work to keep the songs alive. The film will be shown at 4 p.m. at the Center.

Native plant uses. Discover the many traditional uses of plants in the Pass and other Southern California landscapes as food, medicine, and tools. Presenters include culture bearers Barbara Drake and Kim Marcus. Learn, for example, how to make wewish, an acorn dish that once was a staple food of American Indians.

There also will be art for people of all ages to make and take home, including the Center’s popular dragonflies.

Come hopping at the Art Hop to The Center's Open House.

Come discover The Center and join the volunteers working to save and share Southern California’s Native American traditions and knowledge. Learn about plans for a native plant garden and expansion and renovation of the Center on the corner of San Gorgonio Avenue and Hays Street.

Work on the adjacent Gathering Hall continues and we hope it will be completed in time for the Art Hop.

Information: (951) 849-7736.

Marvin Yazzie

Meanwhile, the Center’s annual flute workshop with master flute-maker Marvin Yazzie (Navajo) and his wife, Jonette, will again be under way throughout the Art Hop. Participants in the three-day workshop from May 6-8 will make a six-holed wooden Plains-style flute with the Yazzies and learn the basics of playing with Ernest Siva, who will also share music of the First People of Southern California. Registration is still open, but the class will be limited to 10 people. The fee is $300. Information: (951) 849-4676. E-mail: siva AT dishmail DOT net

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It's nearly time for the annual flute-making workshop at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.

This is your opportunity to make a beautiful wooden six-holed Plains-Style Native American flute in a 3-day workshop with master flute-maker Marvin Yazzie, Navajo, and his wife, Jonette.

Also learn the basics of flute-playing from Ernest Siva. Discover the music of the First People of Southern California.

Enrollment is limited to 10 people. The price remains $300. Pre-register at the email siva@dishmail.net. Or call 951.849.4676.

The workshop will be held on three days, May 6, 7, and 8. May 7 is the annual downtown Art Hop in Banning, and we have storytelling, singing, crafts and much more free family fun planned at the Center as part of the overall event.

Hope you can join us, at the corner of San Gorgonio Ave. and Hays Street in Banning, for Art Hop fun! Stay tuned for more exciting news about the Art Hop.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping the Songs Alive

Cahuilla singer Will Madrigal Jr. (far right)
© Carlos Puma Photo for The Center

The songs recall the Creation.
The stories share other Native American cultural history and memories.

Cliff Trafzer, UC Riverside history professor and Costo Chair in Native American History, worked with 10 elders and recorded their stories and songs.

The result was a 40-minute DVD video, called "Keeping the Songs Alive," which Trafzer has shared at Native American and other public gatherings.

In addition, more than 40 hours of videotaped interviews are archived at UCR's California Center for Native Nations and at UCR Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

At our Dragonfly Lecture Monday, Trafzer and
Will Madrigal Jr., a Cahuilla singer and recent UCR anthropology graduate, will share the DVD and more about the project, which was funded by a $10,000 grant from the California Council for the Humanities.
Read more about the project HERE.

DETAILS: 6 p.m. Monday April 11,
The Learning Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning.
Information: 951-849-7736

Ernest Siva © Carlos Puma Photo for The Center

Our Center co-founder and leader, Ernest Siva, is one of the elders featured in "Keeping the Songs Alive."
Click on the arrow to see the late culture bearer Pauline Murillo of San Manuel Reservation sharing a story and song:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Music, Music, & More Music

Second Saturday Sidewalk Storytelling has been a hit since our debut earlier this year.
It's all about learning and free family fun.

This coming weekend our event features MUSIC:
• Learn about our Southern California music from Ernest Siva, the Center's leader.

Photo © Carlos Puma for The Center

• Discover animals that are in songs.

• Find out why we have dragonflies on our doors at the Learning Center.

Photo © Pat Murkland

Learn the Dragonfly Song! Make your own dragonfly to take home.

• Discover musical instruments of Southern California.
Make your own instrument to take home.

• Learn about flutes, hear flute music,
and play a flute.

Photo © Pat Murkland

Corner of Hays and San Gorgonio Ave., Banning
1-4 p.m. this Saturday, April 9
INFO: 951.849.7736