By Roy Cook
El Cajon: Heritage of the Americas Museum on the Cuyamaca College campus celebrated their eleventh birthday. Featured are exhibits, cultural demonstrations, food, music and dance. The East county museum is a cultural and educational center featuring the prehistoric and historic objects of the western hemisphere. Today, January 31, 2004, there is free admission and plenty of free parking. Associate director Cheryl Minshew organized the event and invited Native Americans to participate. The Heritage of the Americas Museum is on the south side of the Cuyamuca College campus. The museum was financed and founded by Bernard Lueck and is home to his personal collection of objects from around the world.
Festival featured performers this day are: Eric Running Path Dancers. Eric narrated the performances as Kim Flying Eagle danced the hoop dance. Clay and Anita Two Bears represented the Elders. Elaine and Billy George, Missisippi Choctaw presented their beautiful Tribal regalia to the assembly. The Running Path Plains dance group performed twice: at one and three in the afternoon. Elaine George RN is also a Native speaker of Choctaw and she provided information and objects of Southeastern woodlands art in an interior display. Also displaying inside are Wanda Cook, Mohawk and other Native American artists.
Meza Cuero, Tipai Neimii (Wildcat) singer led off the set of songs at
one thirty in the afternoon. We had been scheduled to present at two.
However, the previous group finished and Cheryl said she wanted to hold
the audience. The threat of foul weather had been a concern most of the
morning. The Sun was warm on the desert landscape and garden patio but
when the sharp wind whistled around the corner folks started heading for
the interior of the museum.
Our teacher, Juan Cuero has seen much in his lifetime. He gently shares his knowledge and experiences. With his teaching and songs we see intuitions and feel emotions beyond our experience and expectations. The combined gathering of voices blend and lift and it seems as if the songs are given wing as they echo in the canyons. Finally, when the group sings our shared experience of the moment is as if, there and then, time as it is defined in the western world has no meaning. At these moments when we are in the song, we are the song. Very often we grasp unseen experiences filled with emotion and physically we have felt our heart fill our chest as we sing, and sing again these beautiful Tipai songs.
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