The Native Indians are undoubtedly one of the most culturally-rich people of the world.
From the Cheyenne, to the Sioux, Navajo, Apache to the Osage Nation, these groups of native Americans continue to intrigue me with their history and spirituality, which influences me in no small measure, especially their very soothing meditating music, old Sayings, and not forgetting their closeness and respect for nature’s elements.
Sometimes I feel empathy for these people who had migrated from Asia more than 15,000 years ago, possibly through Beringia as many scholars have suggested, to the great plains, lands we now call the United States of America, as most of their cultures and traditions have been lost or displaced through time. May I add though that this is not unique to the Native Americans as this is replicated in some urban societies where there has been a huge influx of foreigners into their lands. A case in point are the Aboriginal people of Australia.
Societies however have been built on the backs of great migrations of people, building communities of common and shared values, embracing cultures and traditions of the indigenous people and oftentimes influencing settled cultures with their own cultures, resulting in what we now term Multiculturalism.
A couple of weeks ago, while taking a leisurely stroll down a South London town centre with my two daughters, we came upon this beautiful Native American pop-up stall exhibiting their wares.
This was one of those Sunday street markets where traders exhibit their products, from food prepared on the spot, to home and clothing wares, to anything you could possibly buy on the go.
We were drawn to this particular stall by the beautiful soothing Navajo flute music coming from a small set on a table beside some colourful displays. The stall owner was a middle-aged Native American. The elaborate colours of his items on display, the sheer richness and bold statement being made by these items which showcased the richness of the Native Americans was tempting enough to get me whipping out my phone and capturing the beauty before us.
The girls and I had to buy a few items as they were too gorgeous not to grab a few.
As we continue to develop as urban societies, I hope that we do not lose thousands year old cultures and traditions and that our technologically-driven societies will leave spaces for these old traditions defined through their languages, ornaments, clothing, objects and all other artforms.