I have been writing, one way or another, since early in high school when I was surprised to win a Scholastics Award for a bit of humor.
Still, writing is hard work, especially if you set a high standard for yourself. That is why this blog newsletter has not appeared more frequently. Between finding the time and having the material be current, I find the commitment hard to meet.
Anyway, let’s see what is relatively new. (I promise to bring you more and more current thoughts in the next issue of Tribal Artery.)
Back in July, Marc Simmons wrote in the New Mexican that Indian languages seem to be fading from use. He cited a study done in Oklahoma that found eight of the 25 tribes surveyed had no fluent speakers left. Ten appear to be just one generation from language extinction. Included were the Osage, Apache, Pawnee and Wyandotte.
Blame is placed on the number of off-reservation opportunities that do not require Native language skills and the education of youngsters in a more pop culture. I say "blame" because I think it is unfortunate and will be a great loss if we lose these languages. As a writer, I understand the importance that language has to perpetuation of a culture. It is the fiber that ties together so many aspects of a people, especially artistic expression.
I don’t know what we who don’t speak the language and stand on the fringes of the culture can do about it. But I do regret it. I hope it will not turn out the way it seems to be going.
Also in July, we were told about a recent exhibition at Santa Fe’s McLeod-Maslak Canadian Art Gallery of the work of Norval Morisseau. Moriseau was born on Sand Point Reserve, north of Thunder Bay, and raised on the shores of Lake Nipigon. He married a Cree woman and sired seven children with her. Many recognize him as the founder of the school of art known as Medicine or Legend Painting. While he has been well known and followed in Canada (and Europe), this is said to be his first major US show.
If you are in Santa Fe and the show is still open, why not drop by the gallery and let us know what you think?
Thank you for indulging us with your readership again. Tribal Artery is the blog newsletter of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person. It is published at least every blue moon. For more about tribal art, from Native American to Australian to African, visit our web site at http://www.tribalworks.com . If Native American jewelry interests you, try http://www.Native-JewelryLink.com A “gift registry” has been created on the site so that you can find something you would like to have given to you. If you register and tell the Web master who to contact with that information he will notify the target party. While this is helpful for holiday gifts, it is especially good for anniversaries and birthdays. Since otherwise thoughtful people in our lives sometimes forget such dates, a nudge from the Native Jewelry Link web master should be greatly appreciated, by both the giver and receiver. One man that was called was very grateful that he didn’t forget his wife’s birthday. We are here to serve.