Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer: Season for Celebrating Native American Cultures

Summertime brings family fun and learning at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.

People can learn how to make arrowheads, play a flute, sing in the Serrano Native American language, discover whether there’s help for diabetes in a snake’s venom, and much, much more.

Carlos Puma Photo for The Center

The Center, which saves and shares Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts, offers an array of programs, lectures, and other events during July and August:

Second Saturday Sidewalk Storytelling: Arrowheads & Archaeology. Free family hands-on fun: Learn about flintknapping and making arrowheads. Learn about bows and arrows. Be an archaeologist — can you “dig it”? Crafts for kids. DETAILS: The Center, corner of Hays & San Gorgonio, July 9, 1-4 p.m. FREE!


(Pat Murkland Photo)

Native American Flute Class. Learn to play the flute from your heart. Performance-oriented class with flutists from Inland Empire Flute Circle, offered every second Saturday (the next is July 9) from 6-9 p.m., The Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning. Only $10.

Note: DO NOT try to touch or handle any rattlesnake as Dr. Hayes is doing here with the Mohave green rattler. Dr. Hayes is experienced and this snake is much more docile than one you might encounter in the wilds. (Pat Murkland Photo)

Dragonfly Lecture: Snakes Alive! 2. Dr. William Hayes of Loma Linda University returns to the Center with some of his venomous reptiles at 6 p.m. July 11, 17 W. Hays. This time, the biologist will share his research on how snakes and other local venomous animals may be helping the battle against diabetes, stroke, and cancers. Graduate students at the Laboratory of Behavorial Ecology and Conservation at Loma Linda University focus on research that includes how animals use their venom, as well as other conservation studies on species such as the California condor and desert tortoise. Donations at the door help the Center save and share Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Ernest Siva (Carlos Puma Photo for The Center)

Serrano Language & Culture Class. Learn Serrano language and songs and explore Serrano culture with Elder Ernest H. Siva, also president of the Center, every first and third Monday from 6-8 p.m. at the Center, 17 W. Hays, Banning. Free.

Carlos Puma Photo for The Center

Dragonfly Gala. Dorothy Ramon Learning Center’s premier event celebrates Southern California’s American Indian cultures with exhibits and demonstrations, traditional singing and dancing, highly acclaimed food, a silent auction of dragonfly-related and Native American art, the Dragonfly Award, and more, starting at 4 p.m. Aug. 13 at Morongo Community Center on Fields Road at the Morongo Reservation. This year’s theme is “Shadowcatchers: Old Photographs.” To reserve tickets, $45 each, or tables: Ernest and June Siva, (951) 849-4676 or