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Meeting Cultures in Santa Fe

Just some quick notes on the past couple of days... My aunt, Jillane Tunstall, has come to visit me in Santa Fe. She arrived on Thursday, which has provided the perfect opportunity for me to play tourist on my last week in Santa Fe. Saturday, we attended the Taos Pow Wow. This was a really amazing and educational experience. I'll describe it in detail more when I have more time. It sounds like a cliche, but it was a very spiritual and material experience. Material in seeing all the regalia and stuff that is used to create the experience of the Pow Wow. Spiritual, because although I did not speak any of the Native American languages, they made it clear that the event was about offering prayers to the Creator and showing honor to their warriors and their communities. I really want to talk about this in more depth, but here is just a teaser of some of the images. I'll post the rest on Flickr later.
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This is Bruce (Apache), who explained a lot about what the dances meant. He has been dancing at Pow Wows for a long time and is probably one of the best Traditional dancers at the Pow Wow. In the pictures we took of him, he posed so stoic, but he was smiling and joking with us the entire time.

There are several types of dances at the Pow Wow. For the men, there were the gourd, traditional, grass, and fancy feather dances. For the women, there were the traditional, jiggle dress, and fancy shawl dances.

Today, we went to the International Folk Arts Festival, which was overwhelming in the number of global vendors. We have to thank Tina, a volunteer for the Festival, for introducing us to the 5-6 vendors whom she knew. It made the experience more personal and less overwhelming for us. It also guaranteed that we bought things because its more difficult not to purchase something from someone when you feel you've made a personal connection with them.  Aunt Jill is posing with Elizabeth Savanhu of Zimbabwe. She was very warm, open, and loving with everyone.

Anyway, more later. I have to go to bed because we have a trip to Bandalier National Park tomorrow.

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