Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lunch with Salvador Romero, Cochiti carver

Well, we are finally situated in our “adobe hacienda” in Santa Fe. We have learned that the area we are in is called Puesta del Sol, which our host interprets as “Where the sun lays down” in English. Indeed, the sunset from our little guest house is spectacular, yet very soothing, an unmistakable that the day is ending.

Other than that, it’s a lot like being at home – with one exception. Our broadband internet connection is not up and running. So, we are making internet runs to Kinko’s, where we can go online and grab our email. Unfortunately, after we make the trip, gear up at Kinko’s, get on line and read the email, it’s time to pack up and head back “home”.

It highlights how spontaneous our web activity is. As we sit in our cottage and an urge strikes us to search or post on line, we realize we are frustrated without an instantly available web connection. Arrrrgh…..

On the bright side, we had lunch today with Salvador Romero. We met him and his lady friend, Susan McDuffy, at a little café on Cerrillos Road where he likes to eat when in Santa Fe. He is in good health, which we were glad to see and hear. Sal told us he had a hard winter, what with extreme weather on the Cochiti Pueblo and the demands of pueblo business. He reported that many pieces were lost in production as a result of cold and snow. These are serious problems since Sal works outdoors, under a tarp suspend over a wood frame.

We are fortunate that he was able to ship about a dozen new carvings to us just a week before we left for New Mexico. We were especially pleased that this work is some of his best in our opinion. I mentioned that to him at lunch today. I was appreciative and talked about the difficulty in balancing his pueblo responsibilities with his ability to carve. I am tempted to say the former interfere with the latter. But, knowing Salvador, it would be more appropriate to say his carving occasionally interferes with his pueblo duties. It is hard to imagine someone who takes his pueblo life more seriously.

According to Sal, Feast Day on the pueblo calls for lots of preparation including the repair and creation of new headdresses each year. They are painted with homemade, non-commercial colors. After the day’s dances, the headdresses are put away.

With the most recent Feast Day behind him and fairly benevolent weather for the rest of August, Salvador agreed to take on some additional carvings for us. We look forward to seeing them later this month and bringing them back home with us.

Tribal Artery is brought to you by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, and online tribal art gallery with websites at Zunilink, Native-JewelryLink, Native-PotteryLink and TribalWorks

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