Sunday, August 20, 2023

Lazy Days of Summer ???

We always hear about the lazy days of summer. Whoever came up with that myth? If you live in a tourist town, a destination place that is pleasant in the summer months it is the other way around.

Particularly this year when so many locations are far too hot and others far too wet, we see lots of visitors here at 7,000 feet in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We have lots of sunshine but not extreme temperatures and a dearth of rain. This wonderful weather and the beautiful skies and mountain scenery are reasons in themselves to visit.

The summer also brings music from the famous Santa Fe Opera in its modern partially outdoor theater to the Chamber Music Festival. The Lensic Theater has added the Lensic 360 program which includes free concerts on the Santa Fe Plaza and in other venues around town.

Fairs abound and surround. It starts in July with Folk Art Market, bringing artisans from around the world. That is followed a couple of weeks later by Spanish Market. These events happen over weekends. We skipped the folk-art market this year but went to Spanish Market which showcases the local Hispanic traditions. We are not collectors in this field but once in a while we are tempted. One year, being culturally Jewish and my wife born into the Christian faith, we bought this straw work cross, inlaid with a Menorah and a Jewish Star. The artist, Charlie Sanchez, explained that his village of Tomé, NM, was settled by Sephardic Jews fleeing the Inquisition.

August started off with the second year of the 2-day Lighting Boy Foundation Competition of Native youngsters from 4-year-olds to virtuosos in their 20’s. Here is last year’s Missive about the Hoop Dancers:

This year I took some shots of the younger set trying their abilities ...

Then this past week brought dealers in ethnographic arts in two established fairs which we always called “Old Indian Market” although material from other parts of the world is included. The one we are most interested in is the Whitehawk fair which this year packed more dealers than ever into the Community Center downtown. They used to serve food for the $100 opening night, but it seems that since another company has bought the fair, so no food but many more dealers packed into narrow aisles. Nonetheless, the quality was as high as can be expected in any fair.

One stand was occupied by the Mexican Jewelry designer Frederico Jimenez. He sells his own creations as well as other Mexican silver and there is always such a crowd at that he has his good friend, a local Santa Fe celebrity, working with him. I managed a grab shot of her. Does she look familiar? Think “Love Story”.

Ali McGraw

Penelope picked out her “Best of Show” which was also not Native American. It was an exquisite Chinese embroidered coat lined in white fur on the stand of Sheila Ellis who sold it opening night. Actually, it was nice to see a lot of business being done, the collectors were back.

Another event that we went to was Feast Day at Santa Clara Pueblo which was open to the public for the first time in 3 years. There are 3 plazas on which 3 different groups danced in sequence. If you are lucky enough to have received an invitation you will bring some food for your host and be served a feast. When we arrived, we were reminded that photography is not allowed at these events and told to leave our phones in the car. I asked one of the many policemen, both tribal and BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) what would happen if I was caught with the phone. I was told the phone would be confiscated and I would have to appear before a tribal Judge during the week and pay a fine to retrieve it.

This coming week will be even busier with Native American events which you can read about here next week.

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