Monday, September 29, 2008

Election season. I feel dirty.

Oldest known rocks in the world, found on shores of Hudson Bay.

Google will pony up $10 000 000.00, if you've got an idea to help "change the world by helping as many people as possible". Project 10 to the 100. Deadline, October 20, 2008.

Once again, I highly recommend Inteligentaindigena Novajoservo / Intelligent Aboriginal News Service, for the Indigenous news that the mainstream media isn't carrying.

Native man dies in Winnipeg emergency waiting room, after waiting being ignored, for 34 hours.

Native voters in the U.S.; check to make sure that you are registered to vote. There have been ongoing campaigns to "disenfranchise" minority voters in some areas.

Inuit balk at Nunavut gold mine's English-only rule.

Anti-abortion amendment attached to Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
"... But the victory is dampened by a poison pill provision slipped in by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that explicitly restricts abortions under IHS programs. The amendment was approved along with the bill in February...
Speaking at a Right to Life rally in January, Vitter boasted that his amendment put "clear, strong, pro-life language in that Indian healthcare bill."... "It's a race-based amendment, because it's trying to reduce our right to access abortion more than any other race of women in this country," says Charon Asetoyer of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center... But since the Vitter amendment would not dramatically change current abortion policies at IHS, the bigger concern is that it will sink the Native health bill altogether, killing prospects for a much needed funding infusion.That would still be a victory for Vitter, who voted against the bill even with his amendment.... "


Lawn Johnny says: "Whut yous lookin' at?"

Johnny cat


Another Native film production company, Pine Needle Blankets Productions.

Bye Bye Beneshe explores Two Spirit identities.Runs to October 11, 2008; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
"An inner-city drama club tries to stage a Cree version of Bye Bye Birdie in the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company's production of Bye Bye Beneshe.
The play, a comedy with serious elements, is being performed by youth actors who are part of the theatre's Circle of Voices program..."

Tim Giago article, My Advice to Aspiring Young Writers

2008 Kansas City Indian Festival. October 4-5, 2008.

Nine Mile Canyon Coalition.
"Located high on the side of a sheer cliff in a rugged place in central Utah named Nine Mile Canyon is an ancient petroglyph dating back over 1,000 years... Almost as fascinating as the petroglyph, is where it was carved... over 100 feet above ground on the side of a cliff. Unfortunately, this panel, along with 1000's of other ancient works of art, are in danger of being destroyed by industrial gas and oil development in the area..."

Online exhibit from Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Beauty Surrounds Us. [Flash site.]

Nice blog post about Tiahuanaco. Great pics.

Archaeologists fight nature, industry to protect area aboriginal structures.
"... The group is conducting what it calls the Colorado Wickiup Project, a project to document little-researched primitive shelters known as wickiups and other wooden aboriginal structures in the state.
The group already is in a race against time, thanks to the natural rate of decay of wood. But its efforts are becoming more urgent, thanks to Colorado's energy development boom. Much of that boom consists of oil and gas drilling in northwest Colorado, which overlaps the locations of many of the state's known wickiup sites. Many of those sites are believed to have been used by the Ute Indians..."

Nice blog post at Kindred Folk regarding Native Art collection at MaryHill Museum of Art.

The Art of Ceremony: Regalia of Native Oregon.
"... features what the tribes consider their finest artwork, items they wear and use in private ceremonies and rituals. Hand-crafted dance outfits, jewelry, staffs, headdresses, musical instruments and a 21-foot cedar canoe — many on loan from Native families across the state — are among the items to be displayed..."

Great Falls, Montana. Retrospective exhibit of George Longfish, at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, until November 15, 2008.

Native music and artist interviews podcast, Indigitunes.
" is a weekly podcast featuring music from Native American artists. Selections include Pow Wow, traditional, flute, jazz, rock, and more!..."

Not just another Native Blog; Daughter of Tse Whit Zen documents the destruction of a graveyard -and a community- by developers in Port Angeles, Washington State.

Amazon Art Institute Helps Recover Indigenous Roots.

Haida Gwaii welcomes new heritage center.
"... The heritage center, also known as the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kaay Linagaay, sits in the same spot as an ancient Haida village. Festivities began Aug. 23 with a traditional food burning to honor their ancestors and a parade of clans. As the parade drew near the facility, three new cedar canoes were launched followed by the official ribbon-cutting with a cedar bark rope.
"This has been a dream of the community of Skidegate for 30 years, from the time the first museum opened in 1976,'' said museum director Nathalie Macfarlane." The idea of expanded facilities is to provide more educational opportunities and to bring home, or repatriate, a portion of the Haida materials being held in museums throughout Canada and the U.S. The museum will also bolster the growing tourism industry by providing a focal point for that here..."


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stolen Rock-Art alert.

Someone has chiseled a petroglyph (rock carving) out of the cliff that it was embedded in, in Utah. The Paiute people are disgusted at the act (see video). Thieves Steal Irreplaceable Native American Art."... The BLM is offering a 5,000 dollar reward to whoever can give them information that leads to the recovery of the artifact and the arest and conviction of the thieves..."
Best image that I've found, so far. The tan area encircling the anthropomorphic figure is a previous attempt to chisel around the glyph. The current thief(ves) must have just finished chiselling it out.

missing Utah petroglyph


Crane, powwow-dancer (Part 1), September 2008

For one of my latest pieces, I took the unfinished canvas of an unfinished work (previous posting) and then began to transform it into a new piece, a powwow-dancer "Crane".

I began by taping the canvas to the wall, rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

[Pics click to enlarge.]


I masked the "turtle" image (with some thoughts as to its future use, then painted the background over in a solid colour.



I wish that I had taken a picture of the initial pencil sketch; alas, the next pic shows the next step as filling-in the body of the sketch.







The outline of the turtle becomes a "halo" for the rawhide/antler rattle that the "crane" figure wields (and fedora fills in).


Highlights and shadow reinforced, horizon added.


Tongue and loincloth initially filled-in. Note the "damage to right knee (to be fixed).


Foot claws added.


Turtle figure changed and more highlighting/shadow added.


Current incarnation.






The next step for this piece will be to take the canvas off the wall and transfer it to a lumber boxframe. After that, further colour, definition, powwow "regalia" and other elements will be added.

Further changes will be documented.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post-fishing-spree, linkie-thingie-massacree

The Yes Men invite you to participate.
Because We Want It.

DNA indicates humans in N. America 14,300 years ago. That's a thousand years before Clovis Culture; for years the presumptive "earliest North Americans".

Feminist take on the Miss Navajo beauty pageant.

Palin's pipeline to nowhere.
"... Approximately half of the proposed pipeline would run through Canada; native tribes who live along its route complain they haven't been consulted about it and are threatening to sue unless they are compensated. Representatives of the canadian tribes, known as First Nations, say Palin and other pipeline proponents are treating them with disrespect. The tribes' lawyers warn that the courts are on their side and say the Indians have the power to delay the pipeline for years—or even kill it entirely by filing endless lawsuits..."

Juries exclude Natives
"During pre-inquest motions Sept. 8 and 9 in Toronto for the inquiry into the 2006 deaths of two Kashechewan men, it came to light that jury roll in the district of Kenora "systemically excluded First Nation people," according to a press release from Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

NAN and Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto have called on Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley to launch a "formal inquiry into the legality of the jury selection system that has been employed in the territorial district of Kenora since 2000 and more generally, across the province of Ontario..."

First Nation awarded $25,000 in legal fees for band leaders
"The Ontario Court of Appeal has awarded court costs of $25,000 to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation for legal fees incurred in the appeal of a jail sentence for six KI leaders..."

Ottawa won't be bound by Nunavut's Inuit language law: Harper
"A new law that requires Nunavut's public and private sectors to provide day-to-day services in the Inuit languages will not apply to federal government services, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said."

What can I say?

Danish disco-wunderkind, Tommy Seebach.

A papier-mache tutorial, from scifi author Mary Robinette Kowal.

A book review of ONE NATIVE LIFE, by Richard Wagamese.

New Tim Giago article.

A remembrance of Ojibway artist, Benjamin Chee Chee, 1944-1977.

Native theater, with elders’ help, laughs at itself.
"... They said they wanted to give people an insider’s look into the Native world and show that even Native elders have a lively sense of humor.
As part of the writing process, Dalton and Bourgeois ran the script by a council of elders who not only encouraged them on but also contributed jokes and stories of their own..."

Big directory of film festivals, at

Current exhibitions at the Heard Museum.

Speaking Their Language
"The skit, which focuses on driving issues such as child restraints, distraction from loud music or cellphones, and even things like riding an ATV without a helmet...
"One of the teachers really nailed it for me - he said this is the first time at their school in an educational situation where it's been aboriginal kids talking to predominantly aboriginal kids," said Alan Long, the director. "So instead of someone from outside coming in, telling you what to do ... the message gets through better if it's people you can relate to."

Another Native BlogOjibway Migisi Bineshii.

Native American Performing Arts, how does YOUR Community measure?

New Tim Giago article.

New NFB film, Indigenous Plant Diva

ABORIGINAL VOICES – Contemporary Canadian Perspectives, September 27, 2008, Ottawa, Ontario.
"Ranging from drama to documentary, the screening program showcases groundbreaking works of established and emerging artists who, by developing an experimental approach to form and narration, have developed their personal voice. Notion of identity (collective and individual) is approached with a mix of energy and rage and often uses humour as a weapon..."

Native American artists say counterfeits, knock-offs hurt them
"... When such an incident happens, Richards said that the restaurant has a three strike policy. For the first incident, a vendor cannot sell there for 30 days. A second violation prohibits a vendor from selling for 60 days. With a third violation, the vendor is out for good.

Counterfeits and cheap knock-offs of Indian arts and crafts jewelry affect the marketplace, where vendors have to sell their items at lower costs or resort to using cheaper material to sell at the lower cost..."

Upcoming lecture and exhibition in Second Life, Mola Art among the Kuna People of Panama. September 27, at 3:00 pm SLT, in the Museum of Music in Second Life.

Norval Morriseau painting, Androgyny, installed in the residence of Canada's Governor-Genral, Rideau Hall.

Another Native Blog, Forgotten Angel.

Aboriginal contemporary storyteller and visual artist, Anthony Deiter will be showing at Hildegard's in Valdosta, Georgia. A New Native Perspective - Hildegard’s hosts Native American artist for Art After Dark.

Native American Music Awards, October 4, 2008, 8pm, Seneca Niagra Events Centre.

"Alaska art, New York address", New gallery seeks to promote Native art, raise social issues.
"Alaska House, an art gallery and cultural center dedicated to Alaska Natives, opened Monday night in New York City's trendy SoHo neighborhood...
The art was the focus at the opening, but Alaska House's broader mission is to make sure the Lower 48 is paying attention to the problems facing Alaska Natives. The reception's theme, "Life Without Ice," is meant to draw notice to the changes a warmer Arctic would force on the region's people..."

'Salvage' Native play premieres at the Autry, October 31 through November 23. Diane Glancy, Minnesota Cherokee-author.

Toronto win 'just sinking in' for Nunavut women's film group
"A women's film collective from Igloolik, Nunavut, is celebrating a big win from its debut feature film after it scored a major prize at the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival.
Before Tomorrow, an Inuktitut-language movie co-directed by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu of Igloolik's Arnait Video Productions Collective, won best Canadian first feature at the prestigious film festival's awards luncheon Saturday..."

Ran across an interesting blog post, by artist-blogger who encountered the incredible art installation, "Buffalo Bill and the Indians on the Beach", by artist, Thom Ross.

New Mexico AG targets fake Native American jewelry .
"At least 50 percent of the Indian jewelry on the New Mexico market is misrepresented in some way, an official in the state attorney general's office told Legal Newsline..."

Rezolution Pictures International
"... is an award-winning Aboriginal-owned film and television production company that plays a vital role in bringing cultural diversity to Canada’s mainstream broadcasting landscape..."

Blackfeet member utilizes old technology, "calendar stick".
"... An inch shy of 4-feet long, the calendar stick is a tool used to mark the days, months and years. Using shadows, it indicates the time and season, while a feather waves with the wind.
A stripe of red tops the stick, illustrating the Blackfeet Tribe's creation story. From there, 30 black stripes alternate with 29 yellow ones, which are used to mark the days.
Latrice Tatsey learned that the traditional Blackfeet calendar is based on days between full moons, so the months are shorter and the year lasts 360 days.
The calendar stick also has four small lines to record quarter days once a year, a slightly different way of working out leap year..."

AIROS podcasts feed.

Call of the wild
"... In the past few months, Pam Miller, an archaeologist who has made documentation and preservation of the walls her life’s work, has noticed further damage: someone has been cleaning some of the panels, wiping away signs of the dust deposits. This could be doing more harm than good; it is work for art restorers, not anonymous amateurs...
The next morning, back at the site with Zavadil, I raise Miller’s suspicion that those in favour of development have taken it on themselves to clean up. He scoffs, climbs out of his Suburban 4x4, cuts through the desert brush and approaches a panel. Rubbing his open hand over its surface, he explains that rain or even wind could have removed the silt. Also with us is Brad Higdon, a soft-spoken planning and environmental co-ordinator from the Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for federal (public) land. Visibly uncomfortable, Higdon tells Zavadil he is not supposed to touch the art – oils from the skin can cause damage. Zavadil quickly withdraws his hand. “You’ve seen me touch my last piece of rock,” he says..."



Thursday, September 04, 2008

tomato harvest time

A huge story that I had heard nothing about in the mainstream media.

U.S. Agents Seize Horses of 2 Defiant Indian Sisters.
"... The Dann sisters, the last Shoshone family living in this valley about 270 miles east of Reno, have refused to pay grazing fees on any of what was once indisputably Western Shoshone territory, nearly 26 million acres in Nevada, about two-thirds of the state. They contend that the Shoshones never legally ceded that land to the government..."

Dann Sisters Hold Firm as Western Shoshone HR884 Turns Public Law 108-270.
"President George W Bush signed HR884 / PL 108-270 into law which distributes 15 cents per acre to the Western Shoshone Nation. The land is marked for gold extraction, nuclear testing and to expand Yucca Mountain for a nuclear waste repository."

Wholphin 5 Interview with Beth & George Gage, Directors of American Outrage.
"... for the past 30 years the U.S. government has been quietly, illegally, re-claiming land it had previously ceded to Shoshone Indians and then selling it off to various mining interests. Did you know about this? Neither did we. Despite the fact that the United Nations has passed a resolution condemning our government’s action’s against the Shoshone, actions which at times have involved physically roughing up 70-year-old Shoshone grandmothers, most of us have never even heard of this crisis..."


How to Write With Style; by Kurt Vonnegut.

'Pristine' Amazonian region hosted large, urban civilization, study finds.
"... Around the communities the scientists found dams and artificial ponds that indicate inhabitants farmed fish near their homes. They also found the remnants of open areas and large compost heaps suggesting widespread near-town cultivation... "

"New Giant Clam Found; May Have Fed Early Humans"
"... The apparent near collapse of the species around that time likely points to overharvesting by early hunter-gatherers..."

"4,500-year-old ice shelf breaks away" from Ellesmere Island.

The Havasupai tribe is seeking flood relief assistance.

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police, according to his mother.
"... There are no words to adequately describe how we feel about the horrors that our son experienced today. Keith may not be a man yet but he has always been true to his beliefs. Today, while attending the Republican National Convention Protest to demonstrate his personal disapproval of the war in Iraq, five officers from the St. Paul Police Department beat him mercilessly. When we picked him up we found him bloody, covered in bruises and scrapes, alone and in need of medical attention.

I have always taught my children that the police are there to protect and serve. They care about those in the community and most are decent men and women, doing a really difficult job. After this experience, I only wish that I could continue standing by that belief..."

"Haudenosaunee Grandmothers File Suit Against Canada"
"... No steps have been taken to charge the Canada Border Services Agents CBSA who assaulted Katenies and Kahentinetha on June 14th 2008. Kahentinetha suffered a trauma induced heart attack. They tried to beat Katenies to a pulp. They act like this is “business as usual”. The prosecutors have not done their duty. Because of this there has been no public investigation and the crime has been swept under the carpet..."

Rushing River

Rushing River, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Rushing River, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Rushing River, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Nestor Falls

Nestor Falls, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Nestor Falls, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Nestor Falls, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.

Kakagi Lake

Kakagi Lake, Northwestern Ontario. Broken Vulture Art, Bingorage Studio.


Pither's Point Park, a hot topic. The lease will be up, soon; but to whom will the land be returned to?

alterNative Media (aNm)
"... aNm's blog highlights our interaction with Indigenous culture and popular media (comic books, video games, digital media/art, etc.) as well as providing exciting information about Natives in the digital frontier..."

Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg, MB. "DANCE TO THE BERDASHE" August 28 - October 4th, 2008.

Does Native American exhibit belong at Mount Rushmore?

Another article from Tim Giago. "The Difference Between Victims and Victimhood"

ABTEC. ABoriginal TErritories in Cyberspace. [Interesting idea, but not much content, yet.]

New Zealand Maori; part of international "indigenous film" industry.
"... Bird Runningwater, of California, says the indigenous film industry is "teetering" on the brink of global success.
"We are at the beginning of a major industry breakthrough but there is still work to be done. We need to encourage a broader indigenous audience base and develop business sensibilities in the market place..."

My buddy, Ryan Mcmahon, is putting together a new website to consolidate his stuff;

First annual Native E-Music Awards.
"The mission and purpose of the Native-E Music Awards® is to recognize and honor our Native American and Aboriginal people's musical talents and achievements. To present these talents and achievements on a global stage. To nurture and inspire the talent and goals of our Native American and Aboriginal people by creating and presenting opportunities for their musical talent to be reviewed, exposed and marketed to the broader mainstream music industry.

The Native-E Music Awards® will aspire to create a global awareness of our Native American and Aboriginal musical talent and build a bridge of opportunity for that talent to step out onto the mainstream stage."

Prominent Santa Fe businesses accused of selling fake Native jewelry, falsely attributed to prominent Native jewelers.

Big Canadian Native Art contest; Peace Hills Trust, 26th Annual Native Art Contest Information. Deadline coming up, September 12, 2008.

National Indian Education Association (USA) convention coming up, October 22-26, 2008.

Metis Festival, September 6-7, 2008; Ottawa, Ontario.

5th Annual Native American Day, Sept. 13 at Pfeiffer Museum.

An article, introducing artist Richard Skyhawk. His official website

Great post about Native art at the Heard Museum at Touch The Wind blog.

New Native Blog, Urban Ndn.

Fate of Miller collection up in the air. Large collection of Native artifacts.

5th Annual Native American Basketweavers’ Market, Sept 6 @ Gatekeeper’s Museum, Tahoe City.

Missouri cave paintings give ancient insight
"... The figures on the walls of the cave in east-central Missouri now provide crucial details of the prehistoric timeline of the region. And there's recent evidence that the paintings in Picture Cave predate the Cahokia Mounds as the birthplace of what archaeologists refer to as the Mississippian period..."

A mysterious e-mail leads [Lipan Apache] artist to Kazakhstan.

Article about Native glass-artist, Ira Lujan, at Tribal Artery. Prairie Dog Glass.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Latest rawhide rattle

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer (and cow) rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler.
[Pics click to enlarge.]


I began by cutting three roughly symmetrical, "bulb-shaped" pieces from dry rawhide; two deer, one cow. The pieces were then soaked until pliable and soft enough to sew by hand, using beeswax-coated nylon thread and #8 or #10 glover's needle.

I first sew two of the pieces, up one side, nearly to the top. The smooth "hair side" is on the inside and rougher "flesh side" out, so that the piece is sewn inside-out.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

I then sew the third piece onto the second, taking the stitches up to the same height as first side; then do the same to connect first and third piece.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

NB: Note that a short segment of the last "side" is left unstitched, so that the resulting "neck" of the rattle head can be sewn onto whatever handle is chosen for the piece.


A small segment of rawhide is roughly cut to fill the space created at the "top" of the "bulb", soaked and then sewn into place (with different colour thread), while excess rawhide is trimmed off.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

I used a plain screwdriver, with a wide, blunt handle, to turn the -still soggy- rattle head rightside out.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

The rattle head is then filled with sand and left to dry.

With this piece, I made two minor mistakes: The long blunt wooden spoon handle that I was using to pack the sand into the head "punched through" on a weak part of the seam. The sand was released from the hand too soon and there was some movement in the skin as it finished drying. Both; errors in patience.

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.

The "neck" of the rattle is soaked, then stretched over the antler to check fit. It is removed and filled with beads, then placed back and the unfinished side sewn shut. When it was dry, I soaked the area of stitching that had been punched through and added more stitches to close the gap. Not perfect, but better than glueing something over the hole.

Piece shown, before display at Kenora Farmer's Market

Glass bead-filled whitetail deer rawhide rattle, on whitetail antler. Broken Vulture Art Bingorage studio.