The type of pottery that I create is based in the Pueblo tradition of hand building. One of the reasons I wanted to take this workshop was to learn new traditional methods of creating and firing. I never imagined that I would be able to peer into the traditions of the people as well. A great gift was given to us today by our instructor, Clarence Cruz. We loaded up in the van early this morning and drove to the Okhay Owingea Pueblo where he was born, raised and continues to live with his family. Today the tribal dances were held to celebrate the new elected leaders of the community and we were invited to observe.
To say that this was a powerful experience for me is a monumental understatement. The respect and love for the tradition was prevelant on all of the faces of the dancers and the onlookers. It made me realize that through honoring tradition, we can grow and create something brand new. The birth of creation is founded on the stable, sacred ground of our past.