Hello Friends and Family,

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Indian Market Preview

I am interrupting the photos from Maui to share a reminder that the Annual Indian Market is coming up next weekend (December 8 and 9 from 9:00 to 4:00) at the Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington Street, Phoenix — just north of the airport. The location is very special — a 1,500-year-old archaeological site once inhabited by the Ancestral Sonoran Desert people, archaeologically referred to as the Hohokam culture. This National Historic Landmark and Phoenix Point of Pride has been a part of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department since 1929 and is the largest preserved archaeological site within Phoenix.

The Indian Market is a fun, annual celebration of Native American Arts such as the lady shown here making yarn from wool using traditional tools and methods. Note at her feet is some raw wool which appears to have already been carded with a tool shaped like a wide ping pong paddle with many rows of wires protruding from the face of the paddle. Pulling the wool with two such paddles straightens the fibers so that they can be twisted with a spinning stick such as the one that she is using.

Every year, they have quite a few performers. This, I believe, is Tony Duncan — a talented flutist and hoop dancer. One quote I found online says, "Some Native American flutists possess playfulness while other lean heavily into the ethereal realm and others provoke healing tears to flow. Duncan combines all of those qualities in his playing, which if it were a wine, we would also call it full-bodied and robust."

I have heard him perform here and at the Desert Botanical Garden and all I can say is that he is great. Don't miss his performances.

One of my favorite pieces I have seen at the Indian Market was this beautiful deer mask. Such Native American masks had many different purposes including its medicinal and spiritual uses — and sometimes they were just used for entertainment purposes. Many Native American tribes believed that when certain animal masks were worn during specific tribal rituals that the person who wore the mask would take on certain characteristics of the animal depicted — and that the spirit of the animal would enter that person while they were in the mask. I just think the mask is simply beautiful.

Here is a young artist who has painted a magnificent portrait of a young warrior. She is obviously very talented.

Many Native American artists create beautiful jewelry, especially using silver and natural stones such as turquoise. These are particularly well-crafted using a feather motif, important in Indian culture.

This older gentleman is a talented maker of bows and arrows — all handcrafted. Nearby, they had a range set up and were showing kids how to shoot an arrow at a target. They all seemed to be loving the experience.

Here was a display of Native American projectile points and tools — arrow heads, spear heads and an interesting ax head.

There is always a number of performers dancing — here this man is performing a hoop dance with a flute accompaniment. Note the bells on his lower legs that add a beat to his dance movements.

In addition to traditional North American dances, this year one can see performances from Aztec dancers and Eagle dancers.

I found the following in Wikipedia about Native American sand painting. "In the sand painting of southwestern Native Americans (the most famous of which are the Navajo (known as the Diné)), the Medicine Man (or Hatałii) paints loosely upon the ground of a hogan, where the ceremony takes place, or on a buckskin or cloth tarpaulin, by letting the colored sands flow through his fingers with control and skill. There are 600 to 1,000 different traditional designs for sand paintings known to the Navajo. They do not view the paintings as static objects, but as spiritual, living beings to be treated with great respect. More than 30 different sand paintings may be associated with one ceremony."

I love to see this — passing on the arts and tradition of the people from adults to kids. Of course at the Indian Market, all kids are welcome to participate in the learning.

This is the treat that I love — worth the trip to the Indian Market alone. Fry Bread. They actually make this treat right in front of you. Knead the dough then flatten it out and put it into hot oil. Once drained, you can add powdered sugar or (my favorite) drop a little honey on it. If you've never tried it, you gotta do it this time.

The following poster provides much more information than I can. I hope to see you there — it is a special treat.

Life is good.

B. David

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