A Few Miles And A World Away.
The “ride” was only a few miles long, from our doorstep to the Flour Bluff branch of the public library. There, drum circle members hosted a reception for the opening of an exhibit of art by Larry “Running Turtle” Salazar, holy man, educator and advocate.
Art can’t be carried away in a camera, it’s meant to be viewed first-hand, and so I haven’t tried to re-present the exhibit, here. The photos are to try to convey the feeling of the exhibit.
This item is titled, “South Texas Javelina Dance Stick”. The painted skull honors the spirit of the animal. Coyote and a couple other animals were also represented on dance sticks.
In a corner of the gallery, items made and decorated by Larry, including, a buffalo skull dedicated to, newly-canonized, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, his walking stick, a buffalo skin bag for collecting medicinal plants, and Larry’s ceremonial shirt.
I found the detail of the elk hide shirt is quite interesting.
The centerpiece is a representation of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and is an example of the beautiful beadwork executed by Larry’s missus.
The tassels are made from the hair of mustangs attached to shell casings of the same caliber ammunition used by the US Army to enforce the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
Depicted on the buffalo hide, the sacred colors of the four cardinal directions on the back of a turtle. “Turtle Island” is the name the Iroquois gave to North America. The birds represent the four directions, note: the Eagle in the north, the Condor in the south. They are part of a prophecy that the eagle and the condor will dance together (a phenomena witnessed first-hand by many) just prior to the spiritual joining of north and south and the return of the Ancestors.
The People will be united, the importance and power of women will be recognized and there will be a return to traditional values of respect for the earth and for each other.
After the exhibit was officially opened, the public was invited to stay for refreshments. The practice of smudging with smoke from sage was explained and visitors were invited to participate.
A demonstration of drumming and Native song rounded out the event. A final prayer was offered, each person sitting in the drum circle putting his left hand on the drumhead, those outside the circle touching the shoulders of the drummers so that they, too, were connected.
In all, another great afternoon in Paradise.