A Gift of Joy to You
Welcoming the Light
Today, Dec. 21, 2022, we welcome winter solstice, a time of reflection and renewal, when after tonight’s longest night of the year, we look forward to the return of the light. In Serrano, the word for “sun” is also the word for “time,” tamit, reminding us of our lifelong relationship with the land and the sky.
Ayaqaych, San Jacinto Peak, at sunset (Pat Murkland Photo)
Cultures around the world embrace the winter solstice, looking forward to the growth and sustenance that the longer days and light will bring. Among Cahuilla traditional bird songs, which in older times were sung in sequence all night long, are songs shared as sunrise approaches.
One such song is about that special time right before the dawn. It’s still dark, but we are waiting for that first light to show — awaiting the promise, joy, and renewal that the sunrise will bring.
During these special days, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and whatever way you find to celebrate the resiliency of light in your life.
Ernest Siva (Cahuilla-Serrano), president of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, sings “Joy to the World” — which he has translated into Serrano:
We’re looking forward to Dorothy Ramon Learning Center’s future as we all work together to save and share Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.
Great Year for the Center
BY JUNE SIVA,
Center vice president and co-founder
We at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center are grateful for a year when things began to return to “normal.” We began having events at the Center, lectures, concerts, flute classes.
Center president Ernest Siva (Cahuilla-Serrano), Elder Kim Marcus (Serrano-Cahuilla) and Sean Milanovich (Cahuilla) singing traditional Native American songs at “An Evening With Kim Marcus.” (Pat Murkland Photo)
We were able to have our Dragonfly Gala. What a wonderful gathering it was! There were old friends and new ones.
Ernest Siva dancing with gala participants to bird songs at the 2022 Dragonfly Gala (Carlos Puma Photo).
We saluted artist Gerald Clarke with our Dragonfly Award and he donated a beautiful painting to the Center!
Gerald Clarke, Ernest and June Siva, with Gerald Clarke’s painting, “Cahuilla Rhythms.” (Pat Murkland Photo)
Speaking of art: That piece and several others in our collection went on display at Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art on the Cal State San Bernardino campus.
As a bonus, assistant director John Fleeman and Michael Beckley rehung the art in our Gathering Hall at the Center. It now looks like an art gallery
.Hanging the returned art (Pat Murkland Photo)
June Siva: Looking ahead!
We are expanding our library because of the generous donation by the family of Luke Madrigal. He collected books for 30 years, including many rare ones. We are expanding our library space to accommodate the collection and eventually we’ll be a major reference library for researchers on Native American cultures.
We formed a new partnership with Idyllwild Arts! Just wait till we announce plans for an expanded version of our Native Voices Poetry Festival, now scheduled for March 11, 2023. Idyllwild Arts will also be co-sponsoring other events too, including lectures, and maybe concerts. It is a joy to work with them and hear their ideas.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Thank you for your support; and stay tuned for exciting adventures to come at DRLC.
Thanks for supporting our 501c3 nonprofit as we save and share Southern California Native American cultures. Thank you also for supporting News from Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, your weekly online newsletter.
News from Dorothy Ramon Learning Center welcomes your EMAIL. Thanks for reading, sharing, and subscribing, from Center leaders Ernest and June Siva, and Editor Pat Murkland, December 21, 2022.
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