Recently I was contacted by a person to inquire if I would be interested in supporting their organization. These types of contacts occur quite often and even when the idea is sound and worth backing usually my time and pocket book are not permitting. Ah, that I could help all those that request my assistance or who have ideas for new wall hangings and/or stone carvings. This person, however, was very persuasive and her mission one that is very near and dear to my heart.
The person who contacted me was Becky Donlan with Native American Research and Preservation, Inc., a Colorado 501 C3 non-profit corporation. She said that herself and one of her associates, archaeologist Ken Frye, had seen and been following my art work at Fireworks Gallery in Alamosa, Colorado. Together with Barbara Maat and Megan Mulholland they were endeavoring to put together an organization to not only protect already known sites but help identify, document and protect Native American Archeological sites in and throughout Southern Colorado. Sounds like a inspiring endeavor, right, so of course I agreed to meet with them.
Our initial meeting was mid December 2009. Ken and Becky showed up with information about their organization, fantastic photos and interpretations of known sites and sites recently discovered in Southern Colorado. They began to fill my head with knowledge about our surroundings that was truly outstanding. You must understand that I have been studying Petroglyphs or stone carvings, pictographs and ancient Native American ruins since 1976 and even before. The photographs and interpretations that Becky and Ken showed me opened my mind and taught me to look at the landscape in a completely different manner, you see, formations that I have seen in the landscape for years do have history and meaning. I might have thought that grouping of rocks might be man made, what an interesting configuration of earth and wood, or that rock looks like a turtle or face has been carved into it, with the proper knowledge and interpretation these items are actually altars, tipi rings, vision quests sites, fasting beds, game blinds & drives, solstice & equinox alignments or medicine wheels. It truly gave me a whole new respect for my surroundings.
Naturally when Becky contacted me with the idea to recreate the Petroglyph of the Sun Luis Valley Big Bird or crane I was totally on board. We created this wall hanging to replicate the Big Bird petroglyph that was found inside a rock shelter in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. It is the highest known rock art in the valley located at about 9,000 feet. It is believed to be an ancient crane symbol, carved in the abstract curvilinear manner. We did the replica not only as a wall hanging but as a Water Skimmer Necklaces, too. We are hoping to market these items as a way to help fund and support Native American Research and Preservation, Inc.
These original carvings will be showcased and the Monte Vista Crane Festival on March 14, 2010. This is an extremely worth cause and we hope to see you all there. If you would like to purchase a wall hanging or necklace to support this truly inspiring endeavor please contact Becky with Native American Research and Preservation, Inc., at 719-539-2913.
Ron White, stone carver and entrepreneur, has been carving stone since 1993, and is shown in more than 40 galleries across the US. Prior to beginning his work with stone carving Ron has worked extensively with leather, wood cabinetry and even jewelry. Learn more about Ron White and his work at www.derivedfromnature.com. For more detailed information on identification and protection of these sites contact Native American Research and Preservation, Inc., a Colorado non-profit corporation www.slvarchaeo.net.