Plant Folklore broadside set resurrected

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Drawing, News, Posters | No Comments
Singing Down Roots: Plant Folklore of the Sonoran Desertis a set of limited edition broadsides originally commissioned by the Arizona Humanities Council as part of a traveling exhibit on desert plants as characters in oral traditions of Southwestern Indian Tribes. Originally published in 1991, there are but a handful of these posters left.All are 22 x 35 inches, offset printed in duotone on cover weight Mohawk Superfine art paper.
These posters each feature a short essay by an expert from the culture depicted, about a plant character of their choice, along with a story, song or poem in both English and the native language, and a graphite pencil illustration by Paul Mirocha.
Most of the expert consultants were members of the particular culture that originated the story or poem and each poster is a gem in its simplicity. Several of the writers have since passed away so these posters are little gems of history in themselves, now found only on this web site.
Please contact Paul to purchase a single poster for 20.00, or the whole exhibit set for 100.00, plus postage.
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The Mescal Agave Talks Like That. Larry Evers and Felipe Molina, authors of Yaqui Deer Songs/Maso Bwikam: A Native American Poetry (The University of Arizona Press), translate and comment on a text selected from the rich Yaqui tradition of deer dance songs. Paul Mirocha’s drawing is of kuu’u, the mescal agave (Agave angustifolia, wild ancestor of the tequila agave), in bloom.

 

 
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 Yucca baccata: From the beginning. Mirocha’s drawing of igaiyé (Yucca bacatta) illustrates a passage selected from the extensive Western Apache herbal lore and translated by Gayle Potter-Basso, who also contributed a brief essay on this indispensable plant.
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 Coyote ate it and Really Laughed. It was a succulent pad of the prickly pear cactus that made Coyote laugh in this excerpt from the Cocopah tradition, selected and annotated by Leanne Hinton. The Trickster changes his tune in this drawing of Coyote tricked into eating a mouthful of cholla, prickly pear’s thorny cousin.
 
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I am the Ocotillo. Tohono-O’odham third-grader Sonya Ortega”s poem sets the tone for her teacher, Danny Lopez’s meditation on melhog, the versatile plantthat anglo residents of the Sonoran Desert sometimes call “buggy-whip cactus.” Paul Mirocha’s drawing of a spike of flowers atop the ocotillo’s long, thorny, leafless dry season branchgraces this poster.

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The Corn Maiden’s Song.EMory Sekaquaptewa chose and translated a song forQa’ökatsina–the Hopi Corn KAchina– as the point of departure for his elucidation of teh spiritual nature of cor, teh rain that is its due, and the obstacle to the coming of rain that profane humans can call into being. Paul Mirocha’s drawing interprets the interconnectedness of the plant, teh spirit, and the blessing of rain in a dry land.

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The Tobacco Plant Has a Laugh. Uva–tobacco–is sacred to the Hualapai. As we see in teh story of Frog Girl Hanya’ Misi’, translated by Elenora Mapatis and expanded upon by Lucille Watahomigie, the tobacco plant was not always a member of the vegetable kingdom. Paul Mirocha’s artwork weaves an intertwined image of the scacred plant’s past and present forms.

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