Monday, February 14, 2011

Quilting For The Elders

At the annual rug show last November, quilts played an important role, all be it one that was mostly behind the scenes. Masuda Medcalf helped organized the effort to make over forty quilts that were presented to Elders and weavers at the Thursday afternoon "quilt party".

An avid quilter, Masuda, frequents a local quilting shop known as Elaine's Quilt Block, The owner, Marilyn Cowan, became aware of this project and suggested that making quilts for our Elders could be the focus of her shop's charitable project for 2011. Every year Marilyn chooses a charity and makes the materials needed to produce a full-sized quilt available at no charge to quilters who are willing to make a quilt to be donated to the selected charity.

The following flyer was produced by Marilyn to provide quilters with specific details:

Below is the display at Elaine's featuring the project:

To date over 30 quilters have volunteered their time for this charitable effort and many have already returned their quilts. Although the process of picking up a kit and delivering the finished quilt is easiest for local quilters, Marilyn is willing to provide kits to out-of-town quilters as long as they pay the shipping costs.

Recently Linda had a chance to join with Marilyn for lunch and then tour the quilt shop. To their mutual surprise, it turns out that they were neighbors and friends during their junior high school years here in Salt Lake. They had lost track of one another so this became a happy reunion.

The last photo shows Linda and Marilyn holding one of the first quilts to be returned.

Marilyn says that quilters are generous by nature and that participating in a project like this is stimulating to their creativity.

If you would like to participate or have further questions, visit Elaine's Quilt Block web site for contact information.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Stories Night 2011

by John Aldrich

We were treated to another immersion into Navajo culture during the annual Winter Stories night on January 30th. Organized by Rodger Williams, this popular evening at the warehouse is well-attended by both ANE volunteers as well as local Navajos who come to share in this winter tradition.

To add to the ambiance of the occasion, Rodger encouraged everyone to think of the warehouse as a "large hogan" for the evening. Attendees also brought a variety of food offerings to share with others.

The program featured a variety of talents including story telling, singing, and drumming. Below is Harry James, who provides the popular Pow Wow event at the annual rug show.

Lacee Harris, a local Ute, is an animated and entertaining story teller. In past years he has usually shared tales of Ma' ii  (coyote), the perennial trickster. This time, however, he related a story about Mouse which contained many lessons about life.

Eileen Quintana, along with her daughter Tinisha, took part in several presentations. Here is Tinisha demonstrating a string game, another traditional Navajo winter pastime. In this photo she has created cat's whiskers.

Eileen and Tinisha performed together in this back-and-forth song celebrating the connection between mother and daughter.

One of the highlights of the evening were several performances by the Cliff Eagle Singers, a drum group led by Emerson Bill. To conclude, here's a video clip of the group performing a ribbon dance song.