Sunday, October 12, 2014

Random act of kindness!

one of the nice aspects about participating in the international postcard group known as Postcrossing is making global friends and learning about their interests. One terrific gal in Indonesia has a broad collection (the word gigantic easily comes to mind!) but occasionally I find something special to send to her. In return she asked another user to send me a surprise thank you card, known in the group as a RAS (random act of smiles). This one came from Canada (with a super stamp depicting Sitting Bull & Buffalo Bill) and features contemporary Inuit art. The artist is eguer

Bison kill site

Prior to the arrival of European horses to the plains, all Native activity was done on foot, including buffalo hunting. To make this process easier, hunters steered the herd animals towards cliffs or box canyons making them easier to dispatch. Many of these sites were used for centuries, based upon the deep bone beds and associated stone butchering tools.
One site, Canada's Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump has been named as a UN heritage site and the Canadian PO has issued some special cards (one is coming from an archaeologist friend in Saskatoon) but in the meantime this great card was part of a trade

Stamps & Post Offices

back home the Post Office in Anadarko Oklahoma has murals painted by members of the Kiowa 5, an influential group of Kiowa artists who developed the flat painting style which was influenced by old ledger art. Many of the US Post Offices were painted during the 1930s under a government program designed to employ artists during the great economic depression. My Indiana post office also has a mural which I always enjoy depicts the pioneer times of NW Indiana of the 1830s or so.

Interestingly the Smithsonian Postal Museum is studying how Native people have been presented in all these old murals and paintings and discussed on their webpage:

Another exhibit examined how Native Americans have been presented on postage stamps...whenever I mail a Native themed postcard I use these old stamps which I obtain from a dealer in California and save just for the right cards.|s1%3D6|

Thanks to the staff at Smithsonian for recording and analyzing this type of public information!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Southwest travel

My Okie pen pal Gary loves to travel and stop at tourist attractions along the way. He also likes to buy tourist items...we are so much alike in this respect!! He recently drove from eastern Oklahoma out to the SW and bought postcards. He kindly sent me this one which offers an overview of Navajo arts: silverwork, weavings, pottery, bakset and stone sculpture. The items are in the Heard Museum collection. Gary also added a lovely blessing message which ends the "Creator is watching the People." Awesome, thanks Gary!