Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mayans in Belize

A friend took a short holiday to Belize and visited the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. The site is along the New River which was undoubtedly used for trade and transportation of people & ideas. The city received a large number of copper objects such as rings and bells in the Post-Classic period. The various stone temples were constructed during the Classic era.

Xunantunich is another Late Classic site in Belize near the Mopan River.
These are my first cards celebrating the Mayan culture in Belize!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sand Painting

My aunt & uncle traveled to the southwest as they often do and picked up some nice Navajo postcards for me. This one is quite touristy...it shows Navajos making a sand painting in Monument Valley, Arizona (where director John Ford made many John Wayne movies in the 1950s).
"Sand painting" is actually part of a healing ceremony: minerals are ground up and then used to illustrate religious beings who bring blessings to the Earth and the Dine (Navajo). The ceremony is held inside a traditional Navajo home (hogan) with only family members present. The patient sits on the artwork while the healers sing and pray; at the end it is all swept away.
Small versions can be purchased in art galleries and tourist shops; colored sand is applied to a wooden board illustrating many of these spiritual beings called Yei.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hubble Trade Post

while not exactly a Native American image, this card features the famous Hubble Trading Post, located at Ganado Arizona and now a Natl Park Service historic site. For many years Navajo people exchanged their woven rugs & blankets for dry goods, food, yarn, and tools here. There is an informative web site at http://www.nps.gov/hutr/index.htm
Navajo artists offer weaving demonstrations and I'm sure they sell lost of great stuff there even today!
The museum has 112 Hopi pots, 170 Navajo rugs and 60 Navajo concho belts; many were probably acquired in trade or purchase by the Hubbels.
Big thanks to Adobe, a Postcrosser in Arizona for sending this card!

Ksan Village, British Columbia

Laura (stampraider) sends 2 very nice cards showing a reconstructed NW Coast village with large clan houses and carved family crest poles located in Hazelton, British Columbia. The Ksan historical village and museum has a nice website: http://www.ksan.org/
arts & crafts are produced on site and they offer native refreshments...wonder if any dances are held there, would be a great location!

Laura's envelope included lots of great stamps celebrating Canada's First Nations, very nice!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tupi of Brazil

Joao, a stamp collector in Brazil, sent these wonderful cards showing Tupi material culture displayed by a museum. The Tupi lived on the east coast of Brazil at the time of Portuguese contact; their numbers declined and only a few remain today.
There is also a catalog for this museum exhibition (all in Portuguese):

Joao also sent a bonus, a stamp showing the Yanomami! This tribe is well known to American anthropologists and has been researched since the 1960s. They live in both Brazil and Venezuela, but have been heavily impacted by forest development.

Big thanks to Joao!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


today's cards feature dancers at the annual Gift of the Waters pageant in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Here Ethan Harris, Shoshone, displays his wonderful regalia including Plateau style floral beadwork, back bustle, eagle feather fan, and headdress which includes magpie and red tail hawk feathers.

another card features a Shoshone-Arapaho elder and her great-granddaughter. Her blue wool dress is decorated with cowrie shells while floral beadwork decorates her moccasins and dance purse.
thanks to Postcrosser creoledreamer for this nice exchange!

Monday, August 6, 2012

NW Canada

Postcrosser Kirsten went on holiday traveling across western Canada; before she left I asked her to look for some First Nations cards. These are very nice!

Poles carved from red cedar were purchased in the 1920s but were moved in the early 1960s and placed in Stanley Park, located in the province of British Columbia.
these carved poles are located on the grounds of a suspension bridge
and a 1914 Edward S. Curtis photograph shows a dance mask with a lovely Chilikat blanket. These blankets are yellow and black in color, made from Mt. goat wool & finely shredded cedar bark and were worn at important ceremonial events to display their owner's wealth.