The dragonfly reminds us how we can interact and learn from animals if we open our hearts and learn to be still — to listen. It reminds us of our need to learn from the natural world.
2009 Dragonfly Gala: INDIAN COWBOYS
The First Cowboys were Indians!
WHEN & WHERE: Morongo Community Center, Aug. 8, starting around 4 p.m. Watch for more details.
FOOD: Look for delicious and favorite foods, including some from the original California cuisine.
DISPLAYS AND DEMONSTRATIONS: The gala is primarily an educational event, so look for booths and displays that celebrate our cultural traditions and history.
ART EXHIBIT: Featuring photos of contemporary Indian cowboys.
HIGHLIGHT: The Dragonfly Award will again be given for high-soaring achievements in saving and sharing cultures.
SILENT AUCTION: Our auction has quickly gained fame as one of the premier silent auctions offering stunning American Indian art. This year's auction will be even bigger and better!
HELPING OUR COMMUNITY: All proceeds of the auction and gala support
programs and publications of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center and Ushkana Press, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to save Southern California’s Indian cultures. Share our vision
We thank our major 2009 Dragonfly Gala sponsor, San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians.
Serrano Language and Culture
Continuing at 17 W. Hays St, Banning. Instructor: Ernest H. Siva. First and third Mondays. Free. Anyone interested in learning is welcome. Contact:
Art by Gerald Clarke, Jr. Copyright ©2008 Ushkana Press
2008 Dragonfly Gala: We celebrated the backbone of all cultural traditional ceremonies and any and all events: the cooks who feed the people. Through time, they have made all possible. We explored the traditions, the sacred context of service and duty, and the deep memories behind centuries of "feeding the people."
Southern California Indians: Patterns of Resistance
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center Dragonfly Lecture &
San Bernardino County Museum Guest Lecture Series
From the mission revolts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the political activism of the Mission Indian Federation in the twentieth century, Southern California Indians, despite unrelenting hardship, neglect, and abuse, survived, produced leaders of dynamic worth and character, and tenaciously protected the cultures of their ancestors. Lecture by Richard Hanks, Ph.D., a public historian and archivist who teaches California Indian history at area community colleges.
Banning Art Hop, April 19, 2008
Cross Cultural Art Exhibit sponsored by Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, part of the Banning Cultural Alliance multicultural art festivities in downtown Banning. At the Center, corner of Hays and San Gorgonio. A huge success!
Hmong dancers near art bronzes by Gerald Clarke, Jr. (Cahuilla). Pat Murkland photo
American Indian Music Workshops, April 18, 19, 20
Another great group of flute makers each made a beautiful wooden six-holed Plains-style Native American flute in a three-day workshop with master flute-maker Marvin Yazzie, Navajo, and his wife, Jonette. Then they learned the basics of playing with Ernest Siva. And they discovered the music of the First People of Southern California. (Pat Murkland photo)
Banning Art Hop Afternoon Workshops
Chumash culture bearers taught how to make this ancient wooden musical instrument, then shared songs and stories important to the Chumash people.
• Gourd rattles
Gerald Clarke Jr. taught how to make this ancient percussion instrument important to Southern California cultures’ songs and ceremonies.
• Flutes for kids
A large crowd gathered as Tony Flores taught kids of all ages and races how to make their own wooden flutes.
• Rattles for kids
Kids learned how to make a tin-can rattle and learn about the rattle’s appropriate use in Southern California music. More than 3,000 people came to downtown Banning and we were thrilled to introduce many to Dorothy Ramon Learning Center. (Pat Murkland photos)
WAAT: A Celebration of First Cultures
Each November at WAAT we honor
Native American Heritage Month and the First People of the East Valley
area of San Bernardino County, California, by teaching elementary
schoolchildren about the rich Native American history and culture of the
Inland Southern California communities of Redlands and Yucaipa. Waat, for example, means Juniper and is a name that Serrano people called
the Crafton Hills area near Yucaipa.
HIGHLIGHT: In November, Waat again was a huge success, this time expanding to two days at Crafton Hills Community College. A replica ancient village welcomed visitors into a warm, traditional setting. Crowds of elementary school children learned music, basketry, pottery, and heard stories at different stations, with a theme of "Sustaining the People."
James Ramos teaches bird-singing.
(Pat Murkland photo)
Co-sponsors of this event are Crafton Hills College, San Manuel Tribal
Unity and Cultural Awareness program, Yucaipa Valley Historical Society,
and Santos Manuel Student Union Cross Cultural Center, California State
University, San Bernardino.
2007 Dragonfly Gala: GAMES
More than 400 people joined us on Aug. 11, 2007, at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa for our celebration of games from Indian traditions.
HIGHLIGHT: Joe Guachino received the Dragonfly Award for high-soaring achievements. Walter Holmes Jr. accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Guachino, who passed away about a year ago.
DISPLAYS AND DEMONSTRATIONS: Booths offered Indian games such as ring-toss and string games, and displays included a homage to early Indian baseball and football heroes.
2006 Dragonfly Gala: MUSIC
annual Dragonfly Gala celebrated MUSIC. More than 400 people came for singing and dancing featuring the beautiful music of Southern California. Central to the celebration were the Bird Songs, which tell the story of how the First People came to their ancestral lands. Dragonfly Awards honored these Elders for their lifelong work in saving the Bird Songs: Anthony "Biff" Andreas and his late brother John Andreas of Agua Caliente Reservation; and Robert Levi of Torres-Martinez Reservation. Alvino Siva of Los Coyotes Reservation was unable to attend.
Dragonfly Gala: PLANTS
annual Dragonfly Gala celebrated native plants and their uses for food, clothing, medicines,
tools, musical instruments, and more. More than 200 guests tasted the original California cuisine,
that is, delicious native foods that included yucca blossoms, acorn, venison
roast, venison stew, rabbit stew, sycamore and elderberry teas.
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center also presented our second Dragonfly Award
for high-soaring achievements in saving and sharing Southern California
Indian cultures to Kumeyaay elder Jane
first Dragonfly Gala in 2004 honored Southern California Indian
languages and those working to document, preserve, and teach them. Linguist Eric Elliott was award recipient
for his work with elders Katherine Siva Saubel (Cahuilla), Villiana Hyde
(Luiseño), and Dorothy Ramon (Serrano).