Sunday, April 25, 2010

Santa Clara Pueblo, Puye Cliff Dwellings, Connections

I am just excited about my renewed connection with Native American Indians, and their heritage.  It's a common feeling for me.  Being somewhere unique to me.  Wanting to know more, and knowing, well, it's not my heritage.  I think rather than feeling like I am out of place, our tour with Porter made me feel so connected.

I was moved by the whole thing and I am trying to understand why.  Porter was a big part of it.  I felt close to him.  He shared a personal part of himself.  Yes, he was knowledgeable.  No question.  But what made him attractive was hearing his personal stories, and interpretation.  He took the risk of sharing part of himself.  Actually, some important parts of himself.  Very sensitive too.  The more he shared, the more I liked him, and wanted to be a part of his community of friends.

Jib Jab
Here are some of the 'coincidences'
- Dan, my brother met Porter through his job at Crow Canyon Archeology Center
- Porter's mother is the famous Roxanne Swentzell, sculptor.  We saw her works at the Poeh museum.
    She is so impressive, in what she shares in her sculptures.  I thought she looked familiar, and it turns  out my in-laws have 3 of her pieces, one they had commissioned.  I need to re-look at them!
- Here is her website
- Another 'guide' on the tour, Linda Tafoya is also an interesting tie-in.  She used to play hide and seek with Porter in the Puye Cliff Dwellings when they were kids.  Now, Porter takes her youngest son under his wing, and he is also a guide.  Linda is a native American ceramicist.  Linda is the grand daughter of the famous Margaret Tafoya.  It was great talking with her, not as a native American, but as another human.
- Since then, Dan sent a video of Roxanne's daughter talking about archeology and ancestry.  The video piece is on respect, and how to visit an archeology site, respectfully.  Essentially, don't touch anything, or more specifically, if you touch it, don't move it from where you found it.  It changes the archeology.  Rose Simpson is also a potter, and sculptor like her mother.

Jib Jab
Anyways, not sure what it all means, but I like it.  We all struggle with our communities, our families.  It's that darn connectedness.  The picture is Linda Tafoya.  I was pretending like I was getting a shot of the cliffs behind her, but I knew I wanted a picture of her.  Later in our conversations, she shared her family ties with her grand mother, Margaret.  All said, it was so nice to meet her.  It made for a special day.  Another interesting piece to me. 

Before we started, we just met Porter.  We are at the Harvey House, which is sort of the museum, gift shop area.  Along with these rooms, there is someone in the patio area, selling Native American Indian jewelry.  Porter says if we are interested, take a look.  It was such a subtle endorsement, but I was intrigued. 

The jewelry totally caught my eye.  Beadwork, and some silver and semi-precious stones.  I was asking him about the jeweler, and he couldn't remember.  I could see how this might have sounded hmm, sketchy?  For whatever reason, I felt a connection with this person.  I felt strongly about the beauty of the pieces he was showing, and said so.  I ended up getting 3 or 4 pieces, and got so excited about it, I was shaking.  He was sharing with me.  He let me see the best in him, and when he saw I could see it, he let me in.  He kept making it easier and easier for me to purchase his work.  I judge, he was comfortable it was going to a 'good home'.  In the end, I thanked him, and complimented his pieces.  I was leaving and he stopped me and gave me another pair of earrings I was looking at.  I was beside myself with appreciation.  Not primarily for the jewelry.  Because he shared.  Anway, he suggested I wear the jewelry during the tour.  I wore a really cool turquoise and silver beaded necklace.

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