This little necklace reminds me of when my mother used to take me to the Taos Pueblo to be babysat by one of her Native American friends who lived there at the time. Oh yeah that dates me......... I was out of school for the break and my mother and father worked at their art gallery so I got to spend the summer with her during the morning.
When I arrived she would cook a big breakfast and I got to choose anything I wanted. She also had a well in the back of her house and would let me draw the water up. It was a lot of fun bringing up that cool mountain spring water and drinking it right from an underground spring that ran though the Pueblo.
I remember as we finished breakfast she would do the dishes and walk me to visit her friends that lived on the other side of the Pueblo. It was amazing to just sit and listen to them talk in their beautiful language that sounded like music to my ears. Their clothing was in the traditional and they were covered in turquoise jewelry. I was amazed how simple they lived but dressed as though they were going out to a party.
The contrast of the shells with silver and turquoise always got my attention along with the beautiful blankets and weaves that I was told were of stories of their culture. Here I was immersed in this culture with its food, clothing, language and its rich tradition feeling very much alive and apart of it.
Now later in life, I have returned to find that people no longer live in the Pueblo and the things, even the dress has changed. The memories of what once was, can now only be shared in my stories as I show my children where it was that I used to feel apart of.......