Sunday, April 23, 2006

Real Climate: 'Dimming the Sun'

RealClimate logo

17 Apr 2006
Global Dimming and climate models

Vaporation of water every day testing for over 100 years, now less!

Filed under: — group @ 6:41 pm

Guest posting from Beate Liepert (LDEO)

On April 18th PBS will air the NOVA documentary “Dimming the Sun” which stirred up lively discussions among scientists and non-scientists when originally shown by BBC in the UK (under the name 'Global Dimming' – see our previous posts). The NOVA version has been thoroughly re-edited and some of the more controversial claims have apparently been excised or better put into context [and we look forward to seeing it! - Ed.].

Global dimming is the phenomena of an observed reduction (about 1-2% per decade since ~1960) of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth caused by air pollution (aerosols – small particles) and cloud changes. Some of this solar energy is reflected back out to space and this cooling effect is believed to have counteracted part of the greenhouse gas warming. The original version of the film focused mainly on the observational recognition of global dimming, but one aspect did not receive much attention in the film - namely the oft-claimed lack of global dimming in climate models. This led some to assume that climate modelers were ignoring air pollution other than greenhouse gases emissions from fossil fuel burning. Another implication was that climate models are not capable of adequately simulating the transfer of sunlight through the atmosphere and the role of clouds, sunlight extinction of aerosols and aerosol effects on clouds etc, and therefore model projections should not be trusted. The NOVA version will address this issue more prominently by adding an interview with Jim Hansen from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Along this line, I’d like to elaborate on aerosols in climate models in more detail. (more...)

Dimming the Sun

Dimming the Sun
 Even a film clip!
New evidence that air pollution has masked the full impact of global warming suggests the world may soon face a heightened climate crisis. Nova on PBS TV:



 Global dimming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Global dimming creates a cooling effect that may have led scientists to underestimate the ... The cause of decreased pan evaporation over the past 50 years. ...


NOVA Online | Teachers | Classroom Activity | Dimming the Sun | PBS
The decrease in the pan evaporation rate is a key piece of evidence used to support the hypothesis of global dimming. In this activity, students will set up ...

 Welcome... Beings of Light - A.D. 2012 - Global Dimming and the End of Time

Why is 2102 the end of the Mayan calerdar? Why do the Hopi prophecies say these are the times of cleansing...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ofcourse Every Day is Earth Day!


Alert: Help Six Nations People Protect their Land

  Alert: Help Six Nations People Protect their Land   Focus: Indigenous Rights Action Request: Petition Location: Canada  
Please sign, Pass on to friends, Groups, everyone you can!
Stop the Police Invasion and Siezure of Caledonia!Help Six Nations People Protect their Land!
We request that the Canadian Goverment imediately Remove all Police and Military Presence in the Area of Caledonia and The Six Nations Reserve.
That all Six Nations Land be returned to its rightful owners and all development attempts cease now!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

April Showers: Lyrids Peak Saturday Morning

Skywatcher Alert
April Showers: Lyrids Peak Saturday Morning annual Lyrid meteor shower should reach its peak activity late Friday night and early Saturday morning when a maximum of 10-20 "shooting stars" may appear. Get viewing details.

- - Meteor Viewing Basics
- Get Space News and Photos at

Monday, April 17, 2006


A portfolio by Gary Ladd

Fractured sandstone forms a rocky concourse below Dominguez Butte near Lake Powell’s Padre Bay. >



Nearly all of the Earth’s landscapes—as if in modesty—are clothed in soil, trees, shrubs and grasses. Hidden beneath this layer of life, however, are the planet’s foundations: bones of solid stone. In much of northern Arizona and southern Utah, the land wears only the sheerest of negligees of living matter.

   Next >>



Just shy of 6 a.m. on a November morning, the pre-dawn temperature hovers barely above freezing. The stars are achingly bright in the rich, black-velvet sky. A sliver of moon hangs over the spectacular buttes of Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border. As our jeeps caravan down the sandy road, a soft gold creeps along the horizon to the east. The "Mittens" rock formations become half-seen giants against the glow.

An hour later, after a jostling ride through sandy washes and rocky trails, we are parked near the "Totem Poles" with film loaded andcameras mounted on tripods. The sun crests the horizon too suddenly. The rock formations glow yellow and orange; the sand dunes become a rippling river of color, light and shadow. For what seems only seconds, we all concentrate on capturing the moment: shutters snap, film changes hands. The light changes as day announces itself. Time to pack up and head for another location.

Our Navajo guides on this trip are award-winning photographer LeRoy DeJolie and Leroy Teeasyatoh. Teeasyatoh has operated Sacred Monument Tours for 12 years. In the early days, he says, he operated with three horses and two "raggedy old" saddles (he rode bareback), waiting along the road for potential customers. He says that those three horses got him everything he has now: his home, corral, jeeps and more horses and saddles. Today, he operates a tour company in Monument Valley, offering tours for a few hours or overnight. "Just tell me what you need," Teeasyatoh says, "and I can arrange it."

LeRoy DeJolie discovered his passion for photography during high school in urban Los Angeles, but it wasn't until he was back living on the Navajo reservation that he began to shoot the stunning landscapes for which he is known today. "There's a big difference between having to work, rather than wanting to work," DeJolie notes. Keeping his livelihood-he earns his living as a steelworker-separate from his photography helps to keep it fresh.

His passion, both for photography and Dinetah (the Land of the Navajo), is what inspires him to share his knowledge with others. "He is very generous with his information and is able to take us in to hidden and unique sites, which makes his workshops an outstanding opportunity," notes a workshop participant Wendel Swanson.

DeJolie leads about a dozen expeditions per year into various parts of the Navajo Nation, both by himself and with Arizona Highways Magazine. This year's planned destinations include Kaibeto Plateau, the Colorado Plateau, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Hunt's Mesa and Canyon de Chelly, among others. A special new adventure, "LeRoy's Secret Places," will take photo buffs to special locations that DeJolie has found and photographed over the years. In addition, he is putting together a photography clinic for Native Americans at Lake Powell in August.

When DeJolie talks about his land, his throat tightens with emotion. "As far as I'm concerned, Hunt's Mesa is the center of the earth. It's also the center of my heart." Monument Valley is only one of the many spectacular Native places to visit in the Four Corners area, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet.

Stop the continual abuse, racism and violence against Native Americans

This group at Care2:
People Helping Other People Worldwide
601 Members


Stop the continual abuse, racism and violence against Native Americans from police departments and other authorities.





Sneak Preview of film also!

Land was stolen, rights were stolen, had a pile of rocks and could not farm, so all they could do was make a flat spot on top and build a building for a business for their people.So they could buy back their land and even their own cemetery!

California's "Lost" Tribes

Producer/ Director: Jed Riffe;

Co-Producer: Jack Kohler

Premieres on PBS

April 13th, 2006 10:00PM

Sneak Preview

The 1987 Supreme Court decision to open up Indian gaming nationwide had a dramatic economic impact on the lives of California's Indian tribes much like the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island had on their cultural identities. In a few short years, California Indians went from being the poorest people in the state to among the richest, and from being virtually invisible to being the state's most powerful political lobby. For the Cabazon and Morongo tribes of Southern California, the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case, the wealth they have achieved through gambling casinos was unimaginable twenty years ago.

Years of excruciating poverty have not been lost on three-time chairwoman Mary Ann Andreas of the Morongo tribe, whose reservation is near Palm Springs. As she remembers the dirt floor shack of her childhood, it would have been impossible to imagine the wealth and influence the tribe now holds. For Viejas tribal Chairman Anthony Pico, the abundance of today harks back to the times before contact with Europeans. But even as some Native peoples prosper, the state wants to charge a gaming tax, which would be much greater than the standard corporate rate, a challenge to the newly found abundance of California's tribes.

For Chairman Wayne Mitchum of the Colusa Tribe of Wintu, the largest employer in Colusa county, income from gaming has made possible the opening of the only dialysis center to service both native and non-native populations in the county. If Governor Schwarzenegger succeeds in raising gaming taxes, the dialysis center and the tribal-funded Wellness Center may be closed.

California's "Lost" Tribes explores the conflicts over Indian gaming and places them in the context of both California and Native American history. The film examines the historical underpinnings of tribal sovereignty and the evolution of tribal gaming rights over the last 30 years. It illustrates the impact of gaming on Indian self-determination, and the challenges that Native people face in insuring that their newly found prosperity will be there for future generations.

The film also provides insight into the thinking and motivation of those who oppose the expansion of Indian gaming. Concern over gaming is especially heightened by the development of rural lands for casinos, often placing tribes at odds with organic farmers and tract-home developers as stakes are claimed in the rush for the state's last rural lands. California's "Lost" Tribes was directed by award-winning filmmaker Jed Riffe.

Imported from external blog

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Was not about War at all!

White Man believes that this is a war bonnet....
He gets everything wrong. He says we are warlike when we're peaceful.
See, he calls this headdress a war bonnet.
Sure, we used to wear it in war, but most of the time it is/was for ceremony, not war.
Each feather stands for a good deed. There are 36 in this headdress..
It's not about war...
It's about who we are.
When we sing songs White Man calls them war songs. 
But they're not war songs, they're prayers to Creator.
We have drums, so White Man calls them war drums.
But they're not for war, they're for talking to Creator.
There's no such thing as a war drum.
White Man sees how our warriors paint their faces, so he calls it war paint.
But it's not for war, it's to make it so
Creator can see our faces clearly if we have to die.
White Man says our people came to this country only a couple thousand years ago...
He's wrong.  We've been here millions of years. 
White Man says Creator made the world in seven days.
He's wrong there too.  Creator has been making the world
for millions of years, and He's still not finished.
He makes it new each morning when the sun comes up.
If he didn't then the world would be gone.
That's why we send up our prayers to Him each morning and each evening...
to thank Him for the world.
If we didn't thank him, He might not keep making the world new.
It would be all gone.
And what would White Man have to steal from us then?? 

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kids Thoughts on love:)

Thoughts on Love

Slow down for three minutes to read this.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8-year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think.

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toe nails any more. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca - age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving
cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of
kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, and then
he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine - age5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him
alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old
clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
Karen - age 7

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

And the final one…

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed on to his lap and just sat there.

When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

From my Favorites list at my Yahoo Profile.

Raw-hide, war paint. and Tomahawks...........
Raw-hide, war paint. and Tomahawks........... magnify


                                       " Thoughts for the night?"

Tonight the thoughts of how my People the Cherokee, and other tribes of the the United States dressed back in the 1700-1800. Yes the attire of them was breath taking and whether they lost a battle or not, still they wanted to look good which they did. The feathered war bonnets,painted horses, feathered lances exc was an awesome sight. A beautiful race of people.....................................................................

I'm sure as the warrior painted himself in war paint, his self esteem and adrenlien was racing his heart high into his throat, building up his courage and probably thinking: Let's get err done?? Who ever named them Braves, knew what they were talking about.........................................................................................................

I feel today the dress attire of the early Indians of 1600 to mid 1800's is what confuses white people of today. When you say you are Indian, they look to see raw hide and feathers. This is not the modern look of any Indian unless he or she is at a pow-wow ordoing something spirtual?........................................................................This attire is seem only on special occasions.

To the people who don't know any better about this, my advice: When a person introduces himself or herself to you as Indian, don't stand with a gaping mouth and look for war paint and a Tomahawk stuck inside their belt. we are as modern as anyone else............Dont tell them they don't look like Indians, if you do you will only make an ass of youself............................................................................................

White skin and blue eyes means nothing concering your Indian hertiage. In a reading from Desota, He saw Cherokee Indians with Blond hair, redhair and the skin tone ranged from red, also Black, olive,  and white with freckles.....................

A famous Cherokee chief Bowles was red headed, white skinned with freckles......

I just had to add this: What if a white man walked up to me and introduced himself  as being white. I say: you don't look white? Wheres your long scruffy beard, powder horn, musket and coon skinned hat. Hell man you have brown eyes and black hair. You ain't white? What are you a wannabee?........................To the ones who have a problem with us Indians, my brothers and sisters think about this!............................................................

                                                                               Tsa-la-gi Tonyl.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Re: [nativeartsculture] Re: [American_Indian_Injustice] I Lub You

Awwwwwwwww Lub all of you, too! Thanks, Maggie!
Ann:)Little Running Deer

In a message dated 4/8/06 8:33:45 AM Central Daylight Time,

Very neat

-------Original Message-------

From: Thomas Greywolf

Date: 04/08/06 08:41:33

Subject: [American_Indian_Injustice] I Lub You

I like you because of who you are to me...A true friend.

And if I don't get this back I'll take the hint.

Tonight at midnight your true love will realize he/she loves you.

Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 PM tomorrow.

It could be anywhere -- AOL, Yahoo, outside of school, work, anywhere.

Get ready for the biggest shock of your life.

Please send to  5 people in 5 minutes.


"A good friend will come bail you out of jail....

But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying ...

WE screwed up, but we had fun! "

Proud to be your Friend!

Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence, and don't skip ahead.

I've learned...that life is like a roll of toilet paper.

The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned...that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned...that money doesn't buy class.

I've learned...that it's those small daily    happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned...that under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned...that the Lord didn't do it all in one day.   What makes me think I can?

I've learned...that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned...that the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

I've learned.

It's National Friendship Week.

Show your friends how much you care.

Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND, even if it means  sending it back to the person who sent it to you.

If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.




Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Tradition! Arts and Crafts Revived

Tradition! Arts and Crafts Revived By Gussie Fauntleroy | Published  11/30/2005 | Textiles/Weaving , Cultural Items , Wood Carving , Cherokee , Navajo , Haida , Tlingit , Choctaw , Confederated Tribes of Umatilla , Cree , Creek , Muskogee , Paiute , Shoshone , Sioux , Ute , Gussie FauntleroyYokut , Diné |

Feather Fans

The feather fan is an integral part of daily and ceremonial life for many Native peoples. It is used in dance, for blessing, prayer, ceremony and for fanning. Patrick Scott (Diné) has been making feather fans since 1981, and has created fansfor tribal people around North America and Mexico. His work is in collections as far away as Europe and in institutions such as the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Yet many of his fans still go to Native people, who use them in traditional ways. For his part, the 39-year-old artist often attends powwows and is an active member of the Native American Church.

 Making a fan involves finding the perfect combination of feathers, washing them with traditional herbs, then steaming and flattening them.
Feather fans and beaded handles by Patrick Scott (Diné). Photos by HW Brelsford.
Most of Scott’s feathers come from moltings of live birds such as macaws, cockatoos,exotic turkeys and pheasants—feathers that are legal to buy and sell. If someone wants a fan containing eagle or other raptor feathers that cannot be sold, the client must provide the feathers. Paint is not used; the fans’ carefully combined color choices come from beadwork, threadwork and featherwork using small dyed goose feathers, as well as the primary fan feathers.
Along with his brother, from whom he learned the craft, Scott developed the gourd stitch for beading, and uses high-quality, small beads. His one-of-a-kind designs often reflect the purchaser’s life situation and planned use for the fan, he says. Other acclaimed fan-makers selling their work today include Mitchell Boyiddle (Kiowa) and Steve Darden (Diné/Cheyenne).

Woven Cedar Hats and Clothing
Lisa Telford grew up around Haida women—her grandmother, mother, aunt and cousins—who wove cedar bark into baskets, clothing and hats. It was such a familiar activity she took it for granted and didn’t learn it herself. Then in 1986 she joined a traditional dance group in Washington State. Wearing a conical hat woven by her grandmother, Telford found herself wishing the other dancers could have traditional hats as well. In the old days, cedar garments were worn for dances and daily life all along the Northwest Coast.
above: Twined hat of red and yellow cedar by Lisa Telford. below: A pair of dance leggings of pounded red cedar bark, decorated with sea otter fur and deer hooves by Lisa Telford. Photos by Jerry McCollum.
In 1993, a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission allowed Telford to study basketry with her aunt. Later she learned cedar clothing weaving from a cousin. Since that time, Telford’s traditional and contemporary cedar baskets and garments—robes, tunics, canoe capes, dance aprons and hats—have earned numerous awards. Yet whether her designs are innovative or centuries old, the process of harvesting and preparing the bark, and then weaving, is traditional, labor intensive and long.

 The bark of yellow or red cedar offers itself only in the spring, the artist explains, adding that she may travel hours to find good trees. She never takes enough to harm a tree. Back home in Everett, Washington, Telford rolls and dries the bark. Before she weaves clothing, red cedar is pounded and softened, and yellow cedar is stripped and thigh-spun to make twine for the weft. A dance apron requires 600 feet of twine, and weaving alone can take more than 250 hours. But, through these and multiple other steps, it is a labor Telford truly loves.

Cherokee Marbles and Games
Walking through the woods near his home in eastern Oklahoma, Cherokee artisan Hastings Shade collects the materials he uses to make gadayosdi, or stone “marbles” for a traditional Cherokee game. He picks up small chunks of limestone and sandstone, and cuts a small, sturdy stick. As he walks he strikes one rock against the other, beginning the long process of shaping the limestone into a ball about the size of a billiard ball. Traditionally, these marbles were used in a game played on a large area of smoothed dirt. Teams pitch their marbles—today using commercial billiard balls—to see which can be first to get them into an L-shaped series of holes in the ground.

Back home, Shade spends hours rough-shaping the stone ball with the limestone and sandstone. Then he splits the end of the stick and uses it to hold the ball in place in a rounded depression in a larger stone. Keeping the depression filled with water poured from a terrapin shell, he twirls the stick between his hands. Gradually the ball becomes perfectly smooth and round.

Shade, 64, is a full-blood Cherokee and sixth-generation descendant of Sequoyah Guess, inventor of the written Cherokee alphabet. He is retired deputy principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and teaches Cherokee language and traditional crafts. Along with marbles, he makes a dice game from disk-shaped pieces of antler dyed with pokeberries and bloodroot, and other games, blowguns, bows and arrows. His wife, Loretta Jean Shade, also Cherokee, creates cornhusk and buffalo grass dolls and teaches traditional cooking. The Shades have also written books on the Cherokee language and culture.

Shell Carving
 The sea creatures, animals, birds and symbols Dan Townsend carves in shell comprise a “language of the soul that speaks to the heart,” he says. It’s a language whose roots lie deep in the artist’s Muskogee Creek heritage and lifelong love of the sea, as well as in spiritual realms and human experience shared by us all. Townsend, 50, grew up in the Florida Keys and Everglades, and now lives in Tallahassee. As a boy he taught himself to carve coconut shell, carved tikis and totems in palm, and later did scrimshaw. About 25 years ago he met Mary Frances Johns, an elderly Seminole maker of medicine. Townsend, by then carving shell, began delving ever more deeply into the history, traditions and medicine ways of Southeastern tribes, whose shell work dates to the Mississippian period of A.D. 1000 to 1600.

above: “Love letter to Vicki,” glass and bone trade bead necklace and black mother of pearl pendant carved with a spider. The spider has a fire symbol on her back because she is the bringer of the first counsel fire; right: “Warrior Society” carved out of conch shell with two ivory billed woodpeckers. Both by Dan Townsend. Photos by Lynn Ivory.
Townsend’s exquisitely carved gorgets (pendants), medicine cups and earrings are created exclusively from lightning whelk shell for ceremonial pieces, or from gold and black mother-of-pearl. He uses existing shell and never kills the lightning whelk animal itself, a gastropod. While the ancients used stone carving tools, Townsend sees his own use of non-power dental tools as true to tradition. Many of his designs are inspired by old shell carvings found in burial sites around the Southeast. He has created items for medicine people around the United States, Borneo, Africa and elsewhere. “This work is about the old folks, the ones before us,” he explains, adding, “it’s been quite a journey, and still is.”

Another notable artist working in this medium is Knokovtee Scott (Creek), who specializes in river mussel shell pieces.

Birchbark Biting
 In 1980 in an isolated mining town in Saskatchewan, Canada, Angelique Merasty’s eye was caught by her own name on a magazine cover. Merasty, then in her late 20s, could barely read. She was raised in far northern Manitoba, the eldest of 12 children whose parents trapped for clothing and food. She spoke only Cree until age 15 and never attended school. But she read well enough to learn that this other Angelique Merasty, an elderly Cree not related to her, had no daughters and was looking for someone to whom she could teach the ancient craft of birchbark biting.
“Four Frogs,” birchbark biting by Angelique Merasty Levac. In old times, women picking berries entertained each other by using their teeth to make designs in birchwood’s soft inner bark. Remembering this, Merasty was struck with the unshakable feeling that she was the one who should learn and carry on this almost-lost Northern Woodlands art. After an exhausting journey by plane, bus, taxi and finally on foot across a frozen lake, she found the woman who shares her name. From there, doors opened in her life that she could never have imagined. She learned to choose the right tree, test the bark and carefully remove a section, not harming the tree. She learned to painstakingly peel the bark to reach the inner layers, fold a piece and bite designs into it. Eventually she and her teacher were featured in a documentary, and the almost-lost art found new life. Still one of the only artists of her kind, Merasty (now Merasty Levac), sells to collectors internationally and through her own shop in Prince George, British Columbia.

Other notable artisans working in this field include Sally McKenzie (Cree), Vivian Nipshank (Cree), Pat “Half Moon” Bruder (Metis), Yvette Bouvier (Metis) and Ssipsis (Penobscot).

Caribou Hair Tufting
 In pre-contact days, women of the far North adorned clothing with tufts of moose hair, and later caribou hair, dyed with plant or berry juice. For the past 16 years, Inuk (Brendalynn Trennert) has been reviving, preserving and teaching this almost-lost craft. Inuk is of Inuvialuit and German descent and lives in Hay River, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Although self-taught, she grew up watching her mother, Julia Pokiak Trennert, tuft moose hair.
Caribou hair tufting artist Inuk with “Eskimo Kayaker.” Photo courtesy News North. For her own work, Inuk prefers the softer, finer chin hair, or “bell,” of the caribou, which requires a steadier hand and allows more detail. She cuts the hair from the hide in small bundles and cleans it, leaving some natural and coloring some with commercial dye. The bundles are sewn to leather with sinew and knotted at the back. When sewn down, the tufts gently fan out like pom-poms, and together they form a raised design, which then is trimmed.
Inuk, 37, continues the traditional method of tufting, yet she is known for her contemporary designs, including animals, birds and geometric imagery. She gains inspiration from travel, Native cultures, her family, tufting students and nature. Along with framed pieces, her tufted designs adorn clothing, brooches, barrettes and leather-wrapped brass hoops.

Inuk is one of very few master tufters—along with her mother—working today. She has taught and exhibited in North America, Siberia and Japan, and was honored to present a tufting to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on their royal visit to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. As the artist puts it, in her warm, delightful manner, “I was born to tuft!”

Jessie Wastasticoot (Cree) and Helen Bussidor (Dene) are two other well-regarded tufters.

Cornhusk Weaving
 One day when he was 15, Michael R. Johnson, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, noticed an aunt weaving a cornhusk bag. Feeling proud that he’d learned the traditional art at a culture camp, he announced that he knew how to weave. “Here, work on this!” his aunt replied. So he did, taking tips from his aunt as he went along. When the bag was finished, Johnson started another. He continued to refine his skills and today, at 36, is considered a master weaver, teaching apprentices through the tribe, the Oregon Historical Society and a local art center.
Cornhusk bag by Michael Johnson.
In pre-contact times, a number of Plateau tribes wove cornhusks into watertight bags and hats. The large bags were used as trade items and storage containers for dried roots, berries, salmon and meat. The weaving is done using the inner layers of husk, which are dried flat and bleached in the sun. Wetted, the husk is wrapped around twine in what is called a “false embroidery” technique. While Johnson wraps the husk around yarn and incorporates earth-toned satin ribbon for color, weavers in the old days made twine from dogbane. Some of the cornhusk was dyed with cattail or roots to create designs. Otherwise, Johnson says, he weaves using the traditional process as it has been done for centuries.

He creates flat bags, rounded bags, belt bags, hip bags, hats and bell holders for longhouse bells. Among other respected Plateau tribe cornhusk weavers are Lynn-Sue Jones, Verna Patrick, Joey Lavadour, Jess Nowland, the late Rose Frank and the late Katherine Ramsey, Johnson’s grandmother.

Northwest Coast Carved Items
 Low in the water in a dugout canoe, hunters creeping toward a sea otter in the old days would quietly pull in their regular paddles and use very small paddles to guide the canoe closer to their prey. The miniature paddles made almost no sound in the water, providing the stealth the men needed. Today these small paddles, often carved or painted in Northwest Coast designs, are carried by Native women when they dance. They are among the traditional items created by Tlingit master carver Wayne Price of Haines, Alaska.
Yellow cedar paddle with eagle design by Wayne Price. Photo by Matt Davis. Price, 48, has lived in Haines all his life. Early on he began hanging out with carvers and other artists at Alaska Indian Arts, one of the earliest nonprofit Native artschools. Rough times intervened for a while, but art helped get Price back on track with his life. Today he carves paddles of all sizes, from eight-inch decorative paddles to eight-foot-long steering paddles of yellow cedar or spruce. He also creates elaborately carved seal grease dishes and potlatch feast dishes, wooden spoons, masks, drums, bentwood boxes and ceremonial dance regalia. And he has designed and carved 23 traditional totem poles, at times using no power equipment to raise three-ton poles.
Recognizing the importance of Native art in his own recovery, Price uses it to help troubled Native youth. He and about a half-dozen young men are currently carving a 30-foot dugout canoe in Price’s yard. “My mission in life,” he asserts, “is to bring our people back together through the art.”

Other skilled carvers who also produce traditional Northwest Coast items include Tommy Joseph (Tlingit), Ken Decker (Tsimshian), George Bennett, Jerry Laktonen (Alutiiq), Israel Shotridge (Tlingit), Pete Peterson (Coast Salish) and Nathan Jackson (Tlinget).

Plains Leather Items and War Objects
 Shoshone/Yokut artist Black Eagle remembers his grandmother as one of the finest brain tanners around. But it was the general skill of her hands—creating buckskin dresses, doing beadwork, building cradleboards and weaving baskets—that has been Black Eagle’s greatest inspiration. After a series of diverse “mini-careers,” the Nevada Native turned his attention to his own skilled hands. Now 51 and living on the west slope of the California Sierras, he creates a wide range of items, primarily from his Plains heritage, in as traditional a way as possible.

A war shirt, for example, is made from five large brain-tanned deer hides, which Black Eagle trades for with tribal tanners. He uses bison sinew to sew, French linen thread for beading, and wool trade cloth, as his ancestors would have after trading with Europeans. Black Eagle also creates award-winning breastplates, rattles, cradleboards, bone knives, war lances and other traditional items. “I wanted to bring back some of the old spirit and the old ways of doing things,” he reflects. “If anything, I wanted to revive it in myself.”

Hide Tanning
 On any given day, the yard of Wesley Dick Kwassuhe (the name means “One Who Tans Hides”) on the Stillwater Reservation near Fallon, Nevada, has as many as 20 hides in various stages of being tanned: some are soaking, some are ready to be stretched, some have had the hair scraped off with a dull bone or plucked by hand, and some have been rubbed with brain to produce an exceptionally soft, white buckskin.

Kwassuhe, a 40-year-old Northern Paiute, does every step of the process the old way, including skinning the deer with his hands—without a knife—to avoid nicking the skin. He learned by listening to the elders and teaching himself, just as he taught himself to make moccasins, dance dresses, drums, cradleboards and medicine bags. He’s one of few people still tanning traditionally, and his passion for the old ways leads him to take on apprentices and provide demonstrations for local children. Though Kwassuhe most often works with deer hide, he has also brain-tanned elk, antelope, moose and buffalo. “My credit is to the elders,” he says, “for taking the time to talk to me.”

 For centuries, Native Americans adorned clothing, tools and weapons with dyed, flattened, folded and stitched quills gathered from porcupines. Boni Bent-Nelson (Cherokee) of South Bend, Indiana is among the finest living practitioners of this rare craft, working in zig-zag, straight line and plaiting techniques. She also teaches quillwork at the National Center for Great Lakes Native American culture in Lafayette, Indiana.
Also noteworthy are quillworkers Jerry Ingram (Choctaw/Cherokee) and Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty (Sioux/Assiniboine), who won the 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Class award for bead and quillwork.

Parfleche Boxes
 Tough, thick, rigid rawhide from buffalo or elk, made into a shield, could deflect an enemy’s arrow—thus the word parfleche, from the French for “turning away an arrow.” But sturdy untanned hides also made excellent storage and travel containers for the early Native people of the Plains. From this tradition, Southern Ute artist Debra Box constructs containers from untanned hides in authentic Southern Plains style. She takes part in Santa Fe Indian Market, and her creations have found their way into such movies as Dances with Wolves.

Living in Colorado Springs, 49-year-old Box does not have access to buffalo hides. But virtually every aspect of her work with cowhide reflects her ancestors’ methods. She soaks the hide, cleans it, lashes it to a wooden frame to dry in the sun, and scrapes it. From the prepared hide she constructs various-size boxes, flat storage cases, tubular bonnet cases and quivers for arrows and bows. Finally, she adorns the containers with paint from ground earth pigments. Of her work, she says, “I get a lot of inspiration knowing someone will appreciate it.”

As these and other lesser-known ancient arts are increasingly practiced, collected and more widely exposed, their gifts of beauty, utility and cultural continuity will be even more appreciated by Natives and non-Natives alike.

Gussie Fauntleroy lives in Santa Fe and writes extensively on the arts and other subjects for national and regional publications. She is the author of three books on artists, including Roxanne Swentzell: ExtraOrdinary People.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Once in a lifetime

On Wednesday at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 am, the time and date will be
01:02:03   04/05/06.
That won't ever happen again in our lifetime!!!

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Native American burial grounds/Two Petitions

Native American burial grounds/Two Petitions January 11, 2006 7:40 AM
Petition to improve protection for American    Native sacred sites.


Petition to repatriate Geronimo's skull:

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Tour the April Sky

Skywatcher Alert
Tour the April Sky evenings grow milder and the sun sets later, many bright constellations (including the Big and Little Dipper) and planets (including Venus and Saturn) await your gaze in the night sky. Get viewing details and star charts.

- Get Space News and Photos at

- BONUS: See the March-April issue of Night Sky magazine in a new digital format

- Also on Research and Learn: Students, get math help from Math Mastery