Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

iPhone Goes to Market, Part 1

Last Saturday, I spend the afternoon at Pueblo Grande Museum located just east of the airport in Phoenix. Our Neighborhood Watch organization (known here as Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol or PNP) was asked to provide volunteers to help with security. I love this mostly outdoors museum and have shared photos from here before — so naturally I signed up. We just provide additional eyes and ears for the police — we do not intervene. So armed only with radio and iPhone two of us began walking around the Indian Market set up on the grounds.

I did not take my good camera because I was primarily there to help with security — but by mid-afternoon, the crowds had dissipated to the point that I could take some photos. Lucky me that my iPhone 5 does a very nice job of photography.

There were some 85 booths set up offering all sorts of Native American arts and crafts. The diminishing crowds allowed me (and my partner, Mary) to engage many of the artists and craftsmen.

I greatly admire the jewelry and other crafts of our Native American peoples — and Arizona is a good place to find "the good stuff". Many of the artists and craftsmen I talked to were from Arizona and New Mexico, most living on reservations, while they work to preserve their heritage.

Many of the items for sale reflect what native peoples saw all around them in their environment. I was intrigued by this craftsman's ovaloid pottery which reminded me so much of certain specimens of barrel cactus. I also love the hummingbird plate in the foreground.

One of my favorite pieces was this deer mask. Asking price? $600. As I said, this is "the good stuff" and it doesn't come cheap. Of course, this retired guy does not have the money to spend on such items — besides my home is more of the Native Hawai`ian motif.

Interesting cultural mixing — Christmas ornaments adorned with Native American designs.

And some more. Fortunately, these items were much more reasonably priced.

Here were some nice examples of dream catchers. They originated with the Ojibwa who believe that a dream catcher changes a person's dreams. According to Konrad J. Kaweczynski, "Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through… Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day". Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

Some "new age" groups and individuals now make and sell dream catchers. This activity receives a mixed reaction in the Native American community — some folks appreciate the sharing of their culture while others consider it an undesirable form of culture appropriation.

And here is an example of cultural blending — a vendor's stand with a number of very colorful quilts. My mom and Kona would have both loved this display — they were both into quilting.

A kachina is a spirit being in western Pueblo cosmology and religious practices. According to Wikipedia, "A kachina can represent anything in the natural world or cosmos, from a revered ancestor to an element, a location, a quality, a natural phenomenon, or a concept. There are more than 400 different kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture".

Pictured here are kachina dolls which are thought to embody the characteristics of the ceremonial kachina. They are meant to be treasured and studied and are not considered idols of worship or children's toys.

These little figurines represent everyday life in the old days. I think they are incredibly cute.

One thing that I enjoyed observing was the blending of traditional ways and the modern. Here this Native American vendor is offering traditional jewelry while talking on a very modern cell phone.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com