hello to the board from Californian Oct 31, 2018 21:13:32 GMT -5
Post by Californian on Oct 31, 2018 21:13:32 GMT -5
Although I have been a member since 2015 I felt that I still owe the board members a formal introduction. I have resided for nearly forty years in the Los Angeles area and since December 2014 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My interest in Native Americana goes back to the late 1960's/early 1970's while growing up in Switzerland. It was a very volatile era, particularly in America with the Vietnam war going on, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and numerous others. It was a time when American Indians asserted themselves after decades of oppression and forced assimilation. With the birth of AIM, the American Indian Movement, the pace of events quickened. The occupations of Alcatraz (1969) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs building (1972) and finally the siege of Wounded Knee (1973) filled the press and news reports throughout the world. I was in my early teens and followed closely all events. Around that time a member of AIM, one of the Bellecourt brothers - forget which one, either Clyde or Vernon - came to Switzerland and held a lecture at one of the Universities. At age twelve I was the youngest person in the auditorium. All these current events greatly inspired me wanting to learn and know more about Native Americans. A book that inspired me early on was by the renowned author, historian and anthropologist Oliver LaFarge (1901-1963) - "A Pictoral History of the American Indian" published in 1956 - I actually read the German language edition "Die Welt der Indianer". Fate would have it that many years later, since living in Santa Fe, I became friends with his son, John Penn LaFarge, who lives only a few blocks from my home here. I was also inspired by the series of books on Indian subjects written by Ernie Hearting (1914-1992), whose real name was Ernst Herzig; Reise zum Sonnentanz (1969) by Peter Baumann, Der Letzte Kriegspfad (1970) by Jürgen Misch and of course Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970) by Dee Brown. After I came to live in the United States over a period of several decades I acquired a small library of books on the subject of Native Americana, nearly exclusively non-fiction. My private library fills an entire wall at my home here in Santa Fe - many are valuable original editions by renowned authors such as George A. Custer, Elizabeth Custer, Nelson Miles, Mari Sandoz, Stanley Vestal, E.A. Brininstool, George B. Grinnell and others. Over the years I also developed an interest in historical photographs of the Indian genre accumulating a collection of period prints by the well known photographers of the era such as Stanley Morrow, David F. Barry, Orlando S. Goff, George W. Scott, Will Soule, John C. H. Grabill and others. In addition I have been purchasing Native American art and historical artifacts at auctions and galleries. I enjoy hanging out with my Indian art gallery and auctioneer friends, among of which is Wes Cowan of Cowan's Auction House, from whom I continue to learn a great many things such as identifying tribal affiliation on artifacts and/or dating, rating / classifying historical photographs. Having my home in Santa Fe is of course living in the middle of "Indian Country", sites such as Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon and others are only a few hours' drives away, as well as the Northern Plains and the Black Hills region which takes only a day's drive up north on interstate 25. My general interest primarily is to read and to learn and this only for my own pleasure. By inclination I am a historian and I have contributed a number of biographical works - perhaps most importantly I documented and researched the origin, background and later life of Caroline Weldon, about whom a Hollywood motion picture was recently produced titled "Woman Walks Ahead" (the movie is largely fiction and only broadly following actual historical facts). I have thus far greatly enjoyed interacting with this board and have benefited from learning from others and hopefully I have been able to contribute something as well. Thank you all for allowing me to be part of this board.
With best wishes - Californian
With best wishes - Californian