(Art) Crow Mother by Lydia Ruyle

LR Crow Mother

Crow Mother is the mother of all the katsinas who are spirits of the Hopi universe. The Hopi, which means peace, believe all beings in the universe carry energy. They are one of the oldest living pueblo cultures and reside on three mesas in northern Arizona. Crow Mother appears during the Powamu or Bean dance, which opens the ritual year. She offers corn to sustain life and switches for discipline and protection. She stands on a rock art labyrinth symbolizing the human journey of life. Black crows hang out around humans and love corn.

Source: Katsina. Painted Wood. N.d. Hopi. Museum of Northern Arizona. Flagstaff

Read Meet Mago Contributor Lydia Ruyle.

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2 thoughts on “(Art) Crow Mother by Lydia Ruyle

  1. Another wonderful artwork by Lydia Ruyle. I never cease to be amazed. Here is an offering, humble and unworthy as it may be.

    Lament for Mother Crow

    for 106,000 Euros,
    $209,000 American,
    more than three times the pre-sale estimate
    because calamity sells, you know.
    Headlines sell. It’s the American way,
    and apparently the French way, but not the Hopi way.

    by a Frenchman 100 years ago,
    Mother Crow. She brings the bean sprouts
    to The People, peaceful folks who live in the desert
    in mud houses and trailers in the bellybutton of the world.
    She initiates the children into the life before them,
    ensures the good health and behavior of children.

    It is a crime
    against The People, the Hopi,
    Pueblo people surrounded by Others.
    Encircled by a hostile Navajo Nation.
    Enclosed by the usurping State of Arizona.
    Swallowed by the United States of America
    Vomited out in Paris on an auction block.

    Mother Crow
    brings life to The People each year.
    Mother of all the kachinas
    who bring water from the mountains
    and make the blue corn to be ground
    and baked into piki bread, blue bread.
    thin wisps that crumble and melt on the tongue

    Religious relic
    Pieces of feather and turquoise chunks.
    A wooden mask carved and painted,
    pieces of godliness and Mother Crow,
    sold to the highest bidder somewhere cold,
    somewhere not the center of the earth,
    too far for Mother Crow to fly back to her mountain

    and return next year at the appointed time.


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