Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mom's New Mexico Visit: Days 3 & 4

After a weekend of getting up really early, we took a couple of leisurely days to recover. On Monday we hung around town, and went to Old Town earlier in the day for some shopping. My mom originally had the idea of getting a locally made ring, but nothing really appealed to her when we actually got in the stores. However, she ended up finding a watch with white buffalo stone inlay.

It hadn't occurred to me that Old Town would be crowded. Every time I've been before it's pretty dead. However, since the Balloon Fiesta was drawing people from all over the place, it was kind of a bustling place to be. There was even some entertainment in the town square, with music and dancing.

A Mariachi band in the town center. The guy with the guitarron kept making funny faces and wiggling his big eyebrows.

Later in the afternoon I brought my mom to the knitting club I usually go to on Mondays. We meet at 5:30pm after work at Bailey's on the Beach, a restaurant that is really close to campus, has tasty food, and sangria. My mom mostly went because of the promise of sangria, but I like to think she also wanted to meet my friends and hang out with me. Usually I like their food, but they have a habit of putting spice into everything. Unfortunately, the pasta my mom got was a little too spicy and we stopped on the way home to get her a burger. We had been eating a lot of spicy food lately, and we just needed to give our digestive systems a break.

Tuesday morning I had to suck it up and head in to school to go to class. It was my turn to lead discussion in my paleoclimate class, otherwise I might have skipped this one time. Tuesday also turned out to be a sucky weather day, so we had to take our wholesome activities indoors. We decided to get lunch at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which was pretty good. I got pasole and an indian taco salad. Indian tacos are kind of like fried dough with taco stuff on top. This time it had carne adovada, which is always a good choice. Lunch was tasty, if not healthy.

It started to actually rain while we were at lunch, but we were already at the cultural center, so we decided to check out the exhibits and go through the museum. They have native dance performances pretty much every day, so we checked that out. Photos were allowed for this particular performance, although the lighting was bad and it was hard to get a good shot of the dancers who were moving fast. I can't remember what the first dance was called, but it was supposed to be the old way of doing the dance. The dancer was covered in eagle feathers. The second dance was the Jingle Dress Dance. The metal cones on the dress are supposed to call to healing spirits. The story that went along with the dance was that a grandfather was instructed to have this dress made for his deathly ill grand daughter. The little girl began to dance, and the spirits heard the jingling from the objects on the dress, and she was healed.

Traditional Dance

Jingle Dress Dance
The next program was done by some young adult Navajos, but since their presentation was more of a religious nature I didn't take any pictures. They demonstrated grinding cornmeal, the basket dance, and a bow and arrow dance. The "performers" looked like they were maybe in high school or college. We learned that the average age of a person within the Navajo nation is about 21, which is really young.

After the performances, we looked at an exhibit on the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico. In addition to the Pueblo, New Mexico also has resident Navajo and Apache Nations. The had a photo exhibit from Laguna Pueblo, and had images from Grab Day, which was associated with a movie documentary about the day and this tribe. It was a special project because many tribes are very private and don't allow photography in their villages. The rest of the museum exhibited the history, crafts, and traditions of the tribes of New Mexico.

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