D. Art and performance
1. How is art used by your people? Address such things as dress for special occasions, make up, assemblage in context of such, performance art, etc.
- Art is mainly either functional or wearable
- Baskets (how are we planning to make these?). Strictly functional, but can be adorned with sacred materials when being used for important events.
- Ceramic arts are very important in our culture. Objects include: musical bells, vessels for pouring, storage, etc. Bells are important during the planting festival.
- Raw metals and mirrors are traded from neighboring people
- Metals are worked into jewelry. Jewelry is worn daily, but elaborated for special occasions. Metals are also used to create percussive instruments.
- Mirrors are worn on headdresses by the women. Men generally sew mirrors into their clothing, or wear strung around the neck (women also do this but to a lesser extent). The sound of the glass clinking also plays an important role. Mirrors are collected throughout life, and after death they are dispersed to the grandchildren of the deceased.
- Clothing: Light colored plant based fabric. Both men and women wear loose fitting pants, and a simple shirt. Cleaner, higher-quality fabric is worn on special occasions. The body is imitating ray of light, and thus the body itself is secondary to the light-reflecting accoutrements worn.
- Make-Up: Rare, but on special occasions such as the seed planting festival or the harvesting festival, gold body paint is smeared over the shoulders in a streaked “five ray pattern”
2. Meaning and symbolism: Do various aspects of dress and adornment have special meanings for your group?
- Everything relates back to veneration of the sun. The sun is valued for its creative power. The concept of the sun reaching out to the entire world is also important. This society puts emphasis on “oneness” with everything: nature, other people, etc.
- Mirrors reflect the sunlight, and are thus believed to harness the spiritual power of the sun. They are extremely sacred and valuable, and a person with a large collection is considered very rich, both monetarily and spiritually. Mirrors are often used as currency.
- Metals are also prized for their shine and reflective powers. They are not as important as mirrors.
- Sound: The ringing of bells is said to purify the atmosphere to allow the sunlight to flow more freely and increase its creativity. When bells are rung at planting, the sunlight is able to reach the newly planted seeds.
- Harvest Festival: This is the men’s festival in the fall. Festivities include a competition amongst the young men for an elaborate mirror pendant. It is an honor to wear this pendant, which is said to hold a great deal of spiritual power. The winner of the competition is entrusted with its care for the next year.