What Are You Doing New Years Eve?
Taos 2000 World Drumming Invites You to . . .
A Global Gathering of Tribes
to Drum In the New Millennium!
By Kay Walburger
Blue Spruce Standing Deer and June Stovall-Standing Deer, from Taos, New Mexico, are extending an invitation to friends around the world to participate in a welcoming party for the New Millennium. "Our purpose is to honor the connection of all peoples of the earth. We will be using the heartbeat rhythm of the Native American Drum to align ourselves with Mother Earth, however the use of indigenous drums and instruments of all cultures is encouraged. We suggest that our friends around the world drum together simultaneously beginning just before midnight, Greenwich Mean Time. The actual timing for each location on the planet will need to be adjusted for local time zones."
Imagine sharing the exhilaration of a primal, pre-verbal ancient ritual of beating a drum to the rhythm of your own heartbeat! Notice the millions of people in every nation of the world joining in on New Year's Eve 1999, to welcome and celebrate the new millennium. The immensity of this moment in time boggles the mind and the potential of a New World of Peace and Prosperity for one and all, is a promise we can keep if we choose it!
As we review the previous millenniums, our past mistakes are glaring reminders of what happens when we let fear rule our lives individually or collectively! Yet, every culture has true stories, myths, and legends of how an individual or small group of dedicated people committed to truth and fairness can change and impact the world for good. 'Critical Mass', I thought was a number above 70%, and was shocked to learn that mass is critical at approximately. 0.5%. That means if a relatively small number of us can come together and become one voice (of the drum) we could impact the next millennium in positive ways. This could set off a chain of events to expand the peace process and initiate more prosperity for every human on the planet.
The first sound we hear is the beat of our mother's heart vibrating out the rhythm of Life and Love. Soon our own tiny heart forms and answers back with its own vibrations of life and to the beating of these two hearts in a harmonious vibration our further human development takes place. It is no wonder that our earliest cultures have drums as part of the celebration and sacred ceremony of life. These diverse global cultures began by celebrating the earth and all its bounty, which sustained their life force, with the same respect they had for their own mothers and so they called the earth, 'Mother'. Mother Earth will play a very significant roll in sustaining life, as we know it in the next millennium especially if we don't regain total respect for her natural laws.
Darby and I became very excited when we first heard of this project filled with possibilities. Blue Spruce Standing Deer, of the Tiwa North American Indian Tribe of Taos, New Mexico, first told us of the Great Global Project to celebrate New Year's Eve 1999. However, that excitement was increased when we actually met Standing Deer and he invited us to join a group of people sitting around a huge drum and begin drumming. The experience is life changing as the booming voice of the drum sets vibrations emanating out into the space all around the drum. Our bodies became one with the drum and we began to feel at one with the other drummers. Everyone was caught up in this primal experience and enjoyed the exhilaration it triggered into our deepest psyche.
Drumming is something so unique to each individual that it defies description. My hunch is, it's a pre verbal connection to our embryonic state. I certainly felt euphoric from drumming for sometime after and the memory is exquisite. I know Darby is hooked as she ordered two handmade drums and asked Standing Deer to handpaint them with sacred Indian symbols. She and her daughter have already made reservations to go to Taos and spend New Year's Eve beating their new drums!
Blue Spruce Standing Deer (Pba-Quen-Nee-E) is a Tiwa Indian artist and musician, and a Native of Taos Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. He is the son of a traditional Medicine Man and is himself a Medicine Carrier for his lineage.
"The Tiwa People are power carriers, carrying on the traditions for the Pueblo no matter what the conditions of the outside world may be," says Standing Deer. "The purpose is to balance everything in life. It is done through the Kivas, and our people. This is a must. What we do here is meaningful to all tribes and peoples."
Blue Spruce Standing Deer received this name from his Grandfather Telfalow. As his grandpa returned home from a long journey he saw a magnificent deer standing tall and proud under a blue spruce tree; thus the vision inspired this special name for the unborn child. It proved to be a proper name for this gifted and compassionate artist. He is a spellbinding storyteller in many mediums. In the oral tradition his whispering voice stirs the heart and quickens the mind with stories of the old days and the old ways.
This same voice is strong and melodious as he sings stories or songs with words of healing and celebra-tion for all to enjoy. "Songs are the connections to the Spirit world. Sometimes you have to go into Spirit world to have the answers back in this world," says Standing Deer. The drum is the heart of his music and he loves to help others experience the drum as it can connect us to our deepest roots and remind us, "We are all one voice and one color. The color inside all of us is red."
His paintings are also the story of his people as he expresses the living essence of the Tiwa people, yet his style is contemporary. He receives the subjects for his paintings from the Spirit world as he sings and drums. The images come through his songs, and flow out in vibrant colors of the rainbow, which he renders in acrylic on canvas. Lately he has also had magical results from sculpturing in stone.
The Indian and his Angel
June Stovall looks like an angel with her blonde hair, fair complexion, and radiant smile. To many she has been an Angel of Mercy working as a Registered Nurse for 25 years in traditional Western Medicine with a focus on Holistic Healing. Although June was raised in the Southwest in and around Taos, New Mexico, and her family was acquainted with Blue Spruce Standing Deer's family, they both left home to find their separate paths in the world for many years. Then as providence would have it, they both returned to the area, met, fell in love and married.
They have a mystic and romantic marriage and share many interests in art and other cultural pursuits. However, their most profound interest is in the healing traditions from both their cultures. They have discovered that each has a gift of wisdom to share, and together they are bringing healing to a wounded world where cultural shock, misunderstanding, mistrust, and misinformation abounds. They are working closely together in building heartlinks among people of various cultures in their home and around the world.
At the request and invitation of the Chancellor, Standing Deer was the first Native American to be allowed to enter the ancient Neolithic stone circle at Stonehenge, England, and do a blessing where 75 drummers participated. The Royal Air Force, whose base was located two miles away, felt the vibrations of the drums and sent helicopters out to fly over and discover the source. He has also visited Switzerland and Italy, and has been invited to Australia and Japan.
Blue Spruce and June Standing Deer will be teaching a new class "Drumming as a Healing Art", one of only six classes approved out of 30 proposed for the fall session at the University of New Mexico.
A man bridging two worlds, Standing Deer is an innovative and imaginative composer of songs that have universal appeal and touch the hearts of people from many backgrounds and cultures.
He is currently working with Native flute player and flamenco guitarist, Ronald Roybal, on a new CD. Ronald was nominated last year in the Native American Music Awards for "Best Instrumental Album" and "Best Native American Flutist". Watch for this new release, "Eagle's Journey into Dawn".
For more information or schedule of their workshops, please write to: Blue Spruce and June Standing Deer, Medicine Bird Gallery, P.O. Box 2087, Taos, New Mexico 87571, or call (505) 751-0275.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and check out their new website: www.newmex.com/drum2000 , which contains regular updates on the New Year's Eve drumming event, as well as other events.
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