# 2 – Our Universes: a storytelling

On March 26th we met for our second session.   When a dancer is involved, everything begins with a warm-up 🙂 We started the day in a circle, rehearsing our budding choreography (watch video here >>)  inspired by Spiro Mound art like this …  

Running & Pulling HairThis image was taken by Maura Garcia in December 2015 during her participation in the research portion of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s (NMAI) Artist Leadership Program. The original ancient cultural materials can be found at the NMAI Cultural Resources Center, 4220 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD 20746.  SITE INFORMATION: Catalog Card, Oklahoma: La Flore County: Temple Mound

The focus of 3/26 was creation stories.  Before everyone shared, we took a look at images Our Universes exhibit at NMAI - photo by www.indianzfrom the NMAI’s Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World exhibit to get an idea of how other Indigenous peoples were finding engaging ways to share their universes with the world.

Photo Credit: http://www.indianz.com/News/2004/004258.asp                                                 Article:  “NMAI staff show off ‘truly Native place’ to first visitors”

And then the storytelling began.  People shared Cherokee stories, Choctaw stories, Lakota stories, Meshica stories, Muscogee stories..to name a few .  All different, but with similarities we did not expect.  Everyone had to travel or sacrifice something in order to get here.  I suppose it is never easy to be born!

 Luke Swimmer , our guest artist, had been telling and listening as well. Once the stories were told, he masterfully guided us through our next activity:  bringing our creation stories to life through drawing.  Using charcoal, he helped us with technique and shading, suggesting what elements to pull out.  Here are the very cool results:   

It was a good day.  Here’s what folks had to say about it all:

Grateful.   Spiritual.   Beauty.   Astounded.   Connected.   Happy.   Comfort. Origins.   Humble.   Appreciative.    Joyful.   Welcoming.   Laughter. Interesting.   What I Didn’t Know.



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