Indian Market Days June 2002 Museum of Man - Balboa Park
By Roy Cook
Indian Art everywhere, some Artists display in the main hall of the museum, others prefer outside locations. This year reflected the changes that come about when someone new is organizing the event. Javier Gerrero is the Museum of Man curator of Southwest collections.This event is host to many traditional tribal artists fromArizona and New Mexico.
I am always happy to see a young Kachina carver from Arizona, Steve Harris. Also participating are many fine California tribal artists. Too much beautiful Art to list in this short article. A favorite activity is the Craft Corner. Materials are provided for Kids to make Indian theme crafts and take them home! Our first stop is the Fry bread booth. Maybe an Indian taco will do for breakfast today - too early! The rollers and mixers, Vickie Gambala and Paul Razo, were sitting around waiting for the sun to burn off the morning haze. They got real busy when I told them I would take their picture loafing in the fry bread booth.
Navaho Code Talkers, for over twenty years their World War II contributions have been Top Secret and the participants were silent. Finally, Recognition of this unbreakable code and the contribution of our Tribal Warriors can be told. A Navaho Code Talker Gold Congressional Metal recipient, Johnny R. Manulito Sr. (d) was represented by his son Johnny Manulito Jr. also USMC. He is joined by actor/SgtMaj. James Dever USMC. With them is MGM representative Ron Kirkov. WINDTALKER, a film based on the Navajo Code Takers opens this month. There were film promotional posters available. George Redboy, AIWA president (American Indian Warriors Association), is discussing the WW II Tribal Veterans Recognition today with VFW- 7420, District One, Don Diego Chapter Color Guard. The Veterans of Forign War members reprsent respectfully in uniform.George said, "I stood with the family of a deceased Navajo Code Talker on the stand. The family spoke of their father with great pride, later I told the eldest daughter that these heroic men, now after all these years, can be recognized as military warriors. We all need to thank the Navajo for providing us with a code that was never broken, and the gift of freedom. America is blessed by the Great Spirit."
Eric Runningpath put up his tipi. The Runningpath Dance group is a replacement for the Zuni Dancers that were scheduled. Earnest Siva, tribal ethnomusicologist from Morongo, was relaxing on the Museum of man main entrance steps. He is scheduled to present Tribal storytelling inside the main museum hall. He shared insights of the recent storytellers conference held at Sherman High School. Paul Cuero, Tipai singer from Campo, was sitting close by the steps with family and friends. They had bought lawn chairs and were comfortably watching the volunteers posting signs and arranging ticket booths. Just then, a large white, 18 passenger Campo Tribal Van pulled up next to these same Museum steps. Eight Campo residents and kids emptied out. I was looking for Richard Bugbee that morning to hear of the latest update on the Indian Culture Center.
Earlier, he had told me Stan Rodriguez and Jr. Cuero (Paul) were to sing Bird early in the morning. Sitting on the steps I had seen Stan and his wife Martha going into the interior court of the museum. Arrangements by Javier Gerrero resulted in Stan introducing his brother-in-law, Gregorio Montez from San Jose de la Zorra, who delivered the blessing in Kumeyaay. Immediately following is Paul Cuero and the Campo Bird singers. This group is composed of several young men and young ladies. All are residents of the East County and Campo Indian Reservation.
The group forms two rows on the stage and launch on their flight to touch the sky. The singers voices pull emotions from the heart as the dancers move and sway.The crowd begins to stir, shifting their weight, shuffling their feet. There it is, that undefinablequality, again brought forth. If you close your eyes, the portal is open, that window to a tribal time frame of reference is just a little clearer. When the singing is done we walk away feeling good. Indian Market Fair, Museum of Man, Balboa Park produced lots of good feelings. Maybe we will see you there next year.