Insights into the process…

KE – WA Corn Dancer

Years ago, I witnessed a Kewa Indian Corn Dance at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’ve never been inspired to sculpt a piece so fast in my life.

Everyone who saw the dancers was warned against photographing, video taping, sketching, painting or reproducing the dancer on location. I could only stand in awe and marvel at the dancers and mentally memorize their ceremonial dress. Fortunately, after sculpting this piece, and Indian, who was a corn dancer and a maker of ceremonial dress saw it and critiqued it for accuracy. His desire was for me to represent his people as accurately as possible.

—Parrot feathers adorned the tops of their heads (green feathers with touches of
red, yellow and blue).
—Evergreen boughs were fastened to the upper arms with bands of cloth.
—A black seed gourd rattle was held in the right hand.
—Elongated shells, of pinkish brown, were fastened to a bandoleer worn across
the chest.
—Shell and arrowhead necklaces were worn around the neck.
—An evergreen bough was held in the left hand.
—Silver bells were worn in belt fashion around the waist.
—Large groups of black and green twine were fastened to both wrists and upper
—The moccasins were cream white with white tipped black skunk fur around the
—A knotted white cord sash was fastened to the right hip to represent the falling
—Each dancer wore a small leather pouch on his right hip (medicine bag).
—A silver fox hide was worn by each dancer on the backside fastened under the
belt of silver bells.
—On the kilts was a patterned design. I have not learned the meaning of the

Standing in silence, I seemed to travel backing time as I watched hundreds of these people (men, women and children) dance as their people have danced for centuries. It started to rain and with water, 6-8 inches deep, the dance continued. I was welcomed into the home of every Indian I met. I feel both fortunate and privileged to have witnessed this event.

The Law Remembers…

It’s midnight and wet! The drizzlin’ rain is the kind that looks for a place to seep in and
chill the bone. Standing outside the dugout he surmises, “One against four – grateful I
brought the scattergun”. These boys’ pushed hard, for days, after the robbery. Their
weakness is thinking they’re safe. On a night like this he’s sure to catch them unawares.
Lantern lights have been dimmed. Chatter amongst the outlaws is sporadic and low. Quiet
has settled in. He’ll give them a few more minutes to drift off to sleep and then…..’the law


Evidence is found, files are kept, testimonies are offered, trials take place, and some
consciences are cleared while others are seared with pain and guilt. However…..is there a
‘Law’, beyond our minds comprehension, that governs (and remembers) all things? If so,
it begs the question, “Why?” Could the answer be, “To heal?”
Can we watch nature and learn? Is the earth constantly ‘healing’ itself? I’ve witnessed
trees struck by lightning, seen an entire forest burned, a land flooded, watched as a volcano
destroyed all life around it, and then noticed how quickly, if not instantly, nature began to
heal itself. Is it the same (yet unknowingly) with humanity and its laws? Is there a part of
our wanting the law to remember a crime (and bring about justice) so that healing begins?

American Bison