So I need clothes…

Indian demonstration of how to tan hide at the Indian Pueblo Center.

Today, I visited the Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. The daily talk was by a Zia Indian whose indian name means “Sun”. He gave a talk on tanning hides, according to the native American Indian tradition – they soak the hide first, then use a scraping tool to get it clean and remove fur, brain extract to soften the hide, and then backbreaking work to beat and stretch the skin on drums. He was an interesting character – an educator – he started the session with a prayer in his native language for protection from all sides regarding the education that he was about to convey. He then proceeded to take a small stone out of his corn meal pouch and put it in his mouth. He said that this stone would protect him from telling any falsehoods. He talked about how he still had the first moccasins that he had made, and the 40 year old suit that he used to hunt with. His belief was that the animals present themselves at the service of good men to be used by them – to be hunted. He articulated a belief in reincarnation, and stated that he wants to come back as a deer, or elk, or any other kind of animal. The animal that made the hide he was holding was happy to have it used. I don’t know if this is true, but I believe that I have had similar experiences, where animals may have presented themselves to me to be sacrificed. I of course have never done this. My instinct is to protect animals’ lives. I don’t think that I could kill one to eat – maybe a fish, I’m not sure. I have not been a vegetarian lately, compensating for the energy that I needed to work on the car by eating meat. I saw a recently dead cow on the way out to Chaco Canyon. I stopped to make sure that he was dead and not suffering. Really dead. It was an opportunity for shoes, and needed clothes, not to mention dog food, but I couldn’t convert. The death was too recent and real.


There was an interesting exhibit on the pueblos and their saints there – also on the perspective of religioius conversion, how many indians found something of their native beliefs in catholicism.

There was a display showing the indian names of all of the pueblos which I liked very much,

the retablos – each saint framed by something unique from that pueblos,

and beautiful exhibits of the pottery and arts from each of the 19 surviving pueblos. I even got to try weaving and a native american drill.

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