When I made reservations to come here to Red Rock Park for the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial, I thought I was going to get to partake of some very special powwow activities. As it turns out, I managed to miss just about everything, for one reason or another. Yet, I don’t feel too upset about it.
The powwows I’ve attended in the past haven’t had the ‘entertainment’ flavor that this one has. It is a BIG deal here. As a stranger and a visitor, I had no idea what to expect – the information I was looking for appeared to me today, after the fact, through printed media placed in stores in the downtown area. When I arrived, I bypassed downtown by going on the interstate, and then the frontage road to the park. There weren’t stacks of printed programs, etc. around the compound where the event was taking place.
Yesterday I walked over to the exhibition hall to see all the art work, pottery, rugs, jewelry, etc. and the Outdoor Indian Market. I was there all day looking at some very beautiful creations. One that especially moved me was a ceremonial warrior’s cap made of fur, with feathers attached, and a sketch of the item with it, explaining the significance of the elements of the design. Very lovely. Photos were forbidden; otherwise I would post it.
There was a big thunderstorm that came through midday, that sort of stopped everything for a while. I was getting very hungry, so as soon as I could get to the food tent, I went. I had a ‘Navajo Burger’ – two thin hamburger patties, with lettuce, tomato, and onion folded into a very large frybread – $8.00. The drink was another buck. Sales were good though, and many folks had the same idea I did, eating under the cover of a small shelter…
I spent quite a bit of time talking to a woman who was selling coats made from Pendleton blankets – her sister made them. She and I had quite a chat, telling stories from our lives, just like we’d known each other for a long time. She’d suffered much. One of the coats really did draw my attention, and before we were through, I’d bought it! I guess it’s better to spend the dough on something practical than to make the annual contribution to the Indian casino!!! It’s a beautiful coat, and I will post a photo later.
After about six hours at the exhibition hall/market I walked back home. By then I was pretty exhausted, and even though I rested for about an hour before I might walk back for the evening events, I felt my body wouldn’t take me over there and back again. So, the ‘free’ event of dancers and the main powwow was missed. It was still a beautiful day…
So today, I woke up to a very windy and blowing sand day – the first one like it since I left Deming three months ago. After visiting with my next door neighbors a while I decided to head into town to get some groceries. The last visit to the store was two weeks ago. I don’t know what it is, but nothing I have to eat is what I want to eat. I don’t want to cook anything. Even as I went through the store today selecting items, my stomach wasn’t liking anything I selected.
When I first got to town I drove around a little, and found a place to park in front of this gallery. I went inside to ask a few questions, since I didn’t know the town, and I was looking for a place to get a decent lunch (not fast food). Turns out the gallery is a small artist co-op where different artists display their work, like my daughter does in her town. We had quite a visit, and I took some photos of art created from ‘found’ things, recycled things. I’ve put a couple photos here.
Then I went to lunch just one block away and had a great sandwich and some raspberry tea, my favorite! I had noticed some old buildings in the area, and some murals painted on the exterior facades of some of them. I’m quite sure the preservationists had something to do with that!!! All of these within one block. I’ve put photos of some of them here, too.
One place I’d like to find is a good beading supply place; however, there are lines of Indian trade stores, jewelry stores, etc., so it’s hard to discern which would be the best one to visit. I might get a chance to check it out tomorrow – although I don’t know if they are open on Sundays.
On the way back from town I spotted the low-priced gas my neighbor had told me about, so I stopped there to fill up. Then I headed for the Walgreen’s pharmacy to get some ibuprofen – have been out for a while, substituting aspirin, and it’s not cutting it…I got there just in time to be told that the store had had a power surge and the computers were all down – their customer support was coming from Albuquerque and wouldn’t be there for another couple of hours – could I come back? Well I stood there long enough, that the long line of customers who had waited for an hour to pay for their goods, diminished enough that the manager let me in. So I was in and out in about five minutes. The down side was that I had to use the rest of my available cash to pay for the bottle of pain reliever because they couldn’t take a credit/debit card…