Sunday, November 27, 2011
Eagles/Art/and an Artist from the Eagle Clan of the Acoma Pueblo
I was traveling through New Mexico on the way to Tempe, Az. About 60 miles West of Albuquerque we drove into the Acoma Pueblo lands. After meeting a few artists we were told of the Acoma lands and that one of the longest inhabitated places in North America was here. Skycity. We pressed on exploring further when another artist asked us to find a man named Gary Keene who had in his possession a petition to give the Cultural Center and it's tours back to the Acoma people. We went further into the Acoma lands that had a spacious valley bordered by impressive Mesas and Mountains. There were Mesas in this beautiful desert valley as well.
We found Gary Keene selling his art by the roadside with several other Acoma people.we began discussing the issue pertaining to his petition when I saw that one of his drawings had an Eagle.
No Ordinary Eagle, but one drawn with symbols of arrowheads, lines, dots,and others.
I know an eagle anywhere. I have had the honor and privilege to work on, near and for Eagles for the last several years. Add on the years of being in the presence of these raptors in the Wild, has given me the ability to spot one. For that I am fortunate ! I inquired about the symbols and Gary told me that the arrowheads were thunder, lines and dots were rain. We then talked eagles.
A member of the Eagle Clan, Gary told of the power of the Eagle and how his people would catch them,live. A hole was dug and a rabbit tied with a piece of the leather tied to a wooden stake. Hidden in the hole until the Eagle takes the bait, the hunter would spring out catching the Eagle by the legs. Fantastic !
I shared with him some photos I carry with me on my phone of various Eagles I have cared for.
"Brother you are blessed" he said to me.
"Very much so" was my response
The drawing was purchased, the petition was signed and we were informed that Gary has his Artwork in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian. Gary Keens Acoma name is Waya'Aisiwa.
I am blessed ! I really like wildlife people and Eagle people are great people to meet!
Link to Gary's art at the Smithsonian. http://collections.si.edu/mobile/results.jsp?view=&dsort=&q=Acoma+Pueblo+New+Mexico+keen