Sacred Masks

Cynthia-Lou Coleman:

Excellent insights into Native spirituality

Originally posted on Desert Spirit Press:

Hopi Mask

Hopi Mask

“The Sale of a sacred object cannot be dismissed with the wave of a hand as a mere commercial transaction”

Philip J. Breeden, US Embassy, Paris; quoted in NY Times 6-30-2014.

The ancient carved cottonwood mask, decorated with eagle feathers and earthen pigment paint stares blankly at an observer from a shelf in a Paris auction house. The display counter is cluttered with Hopi pottery, kachina figures and sacred altar decorations once hidden in the protective darkness of a kiva.

As I studied the photograph in the New York Times article, I imagined other sacred items that could be on another shelf: a silver pyxis containing hosts of the blessed body of Christ; a treasured Torah scroll from Jerusalem; a hand copied Quran from Kufa, Iraq; a revered scroll of the Rig Veda from India; and a Tibetan Buddhist Sutra from a monastery high in the Himalayas.  I…

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Sacred Masks

Sacred Masks.

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Redskins: bad for business

imageA new argument emerged this week when a pair of researchers claimed the name of the Washington DC football team, The Redskins, is bad for business.

Denizens from Indian Country say the name is offensive and denigrates indigenous North Americans.

But a recent New York Times opinion piece makes the argument the name is bad for business. Continue reading

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A different kind of heirloom

Heritage corn and squash

Heritage corn and squash

My relative Leaf gave us an heirloom while we were visiting Oklahoma.

It’s the sort of heirloom whose value unfolds in a material way.

I’m not talking about materialism—the need to acquire stuff.

Rather, this heirloom recalls the past in a somatic fashion. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, human origin, Indian, Indian relocation, native american, native press, Native Science, Osage, science, science communication, Who are the Osage | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wait: There’s jewelry?

CleopatraMy lung disease has a luscious nickname of Lady Windermere’s Syndrome, thanks to folks who snatched the character from an Oscar Wilde play.

And the syndrome even has its own website.

This is the first time I’ve ventured onto the internet labyrinth to see what news and materials are available for lay publics. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, Family, health, journalism, media effects, medicine, micobacterium avian, native american, native press, Native Science, NTM, Oglala, Osage, writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Dash it all: communication skills needed badly

And now some advice for college grads

And now some advice for college grads

I’m boning up on what employers say they need from new workers.

Turns out communication skills are high on the list.

As a communication professor I want to share my findings with students to give them an edge in the marketplace. Continue reading

Posted in advertising, Dashlane, journalism, native press, Native Science, New York times, Portland, teaching, What can I do with a communication degree, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Okla-homeward bound

George Caitlin's Osage Warrior

George Catlin’s Osage Warrior

June marks the season when families return to Oklahoma and South Dakota.

I’m packing a suitcase in my mind, getting mentally ready for the journey.

Soon we will join our relatives in Grayhorse for the Osage dances: a time when families gather, eat home-cooked meals, and honor passages into adult-hood. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, Bull Bear, Family, Francis Parkman, Henri Chatillion, human origin, Indian, John Artichoker, journalism, Lakota, native american, native press, Native Science, Oglala, Osage, race, Redskins, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment