300 women, children, & men killed at Wounded Knee, 12/29/1890

Wounded Knee Grave on Cemetery Hill

For no rational reason, because there was no “war”, no outbreak, no raids, no threat of military conflict, an estimated 300 infants, boys, girls, women and men were killed by the United States Military on December 29, 1890.  On this day in 2009, the Big Foot Memorial  Riders and others  honor their memory at Cemetery Hill where approximately 146 are buried in a mass grave. In the surrounding hills and desolate plain at least another 25 women and children and 3 men, were buried  in unmarked graves wherever their bodies were found. Others died of their fatal wounds after being brought to the Pine Ridge Agency. An unknown number of living were ‘removed’ by friends and relations. At least 40 other bodies were ‘moved’ prior to the arrival of Dr. Eastman. According to the Army, rations were issued for 370 people of Big Foot/Spotted Elk’s band at the Wounded Knee camp. The army estimated around 70 survivors of unknown gender, age or condition among their Lakota relations. (Source, National Archives publication Microfilm 983, Central Plains Branch, KCMO).

Historical Marker

Trust and Survival, AWOL Hunkpapa Indian Family Prisoners of War at Fort Sully, 1890-1891

Trust and Survival concerns a group of Sitting Bull’s people who fled the Standing Rock Indian Reservation after his murder on December 15, 1890.  Some of these people sought refuge with Spotted Elk/Big Foot on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  Some found a certain degree of safety from further military conflict via the efforts of 2nd Lieutenant Harry Clay Hale and Captain Joseph Henry Hurst, 12the Infantry, the commanding officer of Fort Bennett.  On December 28th, 1890, Big Foot/Spotted Elk’s band peacefully submitted to the US. Military and went into camp for the night at Wounded Knee Creek. 

By the time of this post the Big Foot Memorial Riders will have arrived at Wounded Knee after nearly two weeks of travel in all weather.

The pdf file is via American Indian Quarterly which published “Trust and Survival” in 2008, 32.3 issue.


Red Cliff

Love action? Get your thrills with John Woo’s new film Red Cliff. The film is pulling a respectable 88% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  Lush cinematography with an eye to details even at the most unexpected moments make this a feast for the eyes.  The story line involves fundamental themes of love and lust for power. There’s also much of the underdog versus the BIG DOG tension at play in this conflict that raises the question of how does one even the odds when seriously outnumbered. Oh and there’s a lovely love story involving, of all things, a married couple!  My favorite human element is the Strategist  Zhuge Liange played by Takeshi Kaneshiro (he of the House of Flying Daggers delight). I like the ways in which this mentalist ‘thinks’ amidst the interconnectedness of all things.  Besides the action there’s just enough conceptual offerings concerning friendship, love, and the element of surprise to keep this from being entirely a stuntman’s wet dream of a film.

http://redclifffilm.com/    The trailer is such fun!


Fumio plays


Fumio’s art can be viewed at the Hyde Park Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri.  For more information please visit the Gallery site at:   http://www.hydeparkgalleryllp.com/

and for more beauty gifts:


Enjoy the beauty of Fumio Sawa

Hyde Park Gallery entrance

Fumio Sawa

Fumio at rest

Fumio Sawa

Fumio Sawa

Hyde Park Gallery Interior


Hyde Park Gallery Interior

hot feet

Partners in Art~ Fumio & Walt

a trio

black & white?

take note


at peace

Art photographed with permission of Fumio Sawa at the Hyde Park Gallery.  Artworks copyright by Fumio Sawa. Photographs copyright by Eva Wojcik. All flaws are my sole responsibility and are no reflection on the art of Fumio Sawa.

For Gallery contact and location visit:   


for more beauty:


holy water

Limantour Beach, Point Reyes

calling all photo lovers

Okay, here’s the deal, I have NO idea just how many photoblogs there are from the work of one shot snappers to top hot shot professionals.  Then there all the viewers, browsers, and lurkers who silently, and not so silently, flow through the web network admiring and dishing the images served up by others.  Point is, there are a lot of folks out there who appreciate photography as an art form.  Current question is how many of ‘you’ are willing to view someone else’s art and post an honest comment about it? For some I realize this might require breaking your sound barrier. Why am I yapping so? If you’re inclined to help someone else win a contest with NO gain for yourself whatsoever–yes, this is a purely alutristic action–then visit the link to the post on LensFlare35 about Adam Brobjorg. Perhaps together we can make a positive difference in someone’s life.


My personal favorites are his Nepal images. shanti om

Concerning ‘education’ at large…

I’ve had it up to ‘here’ and way beyond with folks bewailing the quality of public education in the States. No one seems to know what to do to improve this mess except to demand more tests. More tests will not improve education on any level. It cannot work. It does not work. Never has and never will. Test taking has nothing to do with real learning.  I say toss the whole test taking industry into the trash bin immediately.  If I had my way grades would also zoom into the trash bin. Why? Because they’re just ‘grades’ and they do not accurately measure learning either. Either someone ‘learns’ or they do not. Learning cannot be forced. IF something has been really ‘learned’ then it can be applied/used/put into motion by the ‘student’. 

Based on experience, I know of a few things that DO work when it comes to improving the petri dish that is classroom education.  Consider this my ‘gift’ of the season:

~~Optimal student to teacher ration is 1 teacher for every 14 students. This is NOT a newsflash–it’s well-known and been documented plenty. 

~~Oh yeah, an invested teacher can do a lot with 14 students. And 14 students can get a lot from a teacher who wants to teach.  A teacher who wants to teach might be described as someone who wants to engage students–not keep them at an intellectual taser’s length distance. With 14 students’ in a class, a teacher has not just the time but the mental wherewithall to address each as individuals.

~~Textbooks need to ‘go’ away.  Why employ a textbook when there are so many BETTER books to use for teaching? Yes, this means a teacher would have to search out tomes that would best serve their teaching goals–rather than have some textbook dictate what’s on the mental menu every single day of the school experience. Yes, this is ‘work’ –but it is work that pays off for both the teacher and their students. Everyone’s ‘mind’ can be engaged in material that is appealing and fresh.

~~Speaking of ‘fresh’–what the hell is with teachers who use the same material, the same lesson plans, the same approaches year after year after year? They’ve got to be bored to death mentally. I’ve heard many say they are bored to death by doing the same material the same way time  and time again. Guess what–a teacher’s BOREDOM is conveyed to their students who are in turn bored and then see no reason to actively engage with the teacher or subject.  IF a teacher doesn’t like teaching, doesn’t like their subject, doesn’t like students then they ought to NOT be teachers. If they’re bored they need to get ‘un-bored’ or depart the classroom.

~~Teaching ought to be an engagement in the act of discovery. This involves embarking on a quest to explore, question, and think independently. Often this throws out the bathwater of  absolute right answers. (No–this does NOT mean that one plus one no longer equals two in math. Although in an alternate reality it might…) In the words of Northrup Frye, one strives to “educate the imagination” so that it can creatively address all sorts of ‘questions’ until suitable responses are discovered.

~~More than a daily ‘lecture’ ought to go on in any classroom.  Dialogue is very useful for exploring thoughts and new concepts.  Arrangement of students desks/chairs so that they have eye contact with each other and the teacher encourages dialogue.

~~Oh yes, there is a useful ‘rule’ to employ in regard to ‘dialogue’/communication/communication  —Distinguish between what a person ‘says’ and the person themself when debate/arguing/disputes arise. It is one thing to say, “That is a silly answer.” It is another to say, “You’re a silly idiot.”  Mutual respect goes a long way to developing positive communication. People can’t all like each other– but they can all respect each other.

~~Yes, schools are stuffed full of students with terrible home lives.  Social issues abound. What are the causes of these social issues? My take is that our culture is bankrupt–it has nothing to offer but the goal of consuming as much as possible. Nothing is valued  except money.  

Enjoy the ‘holy days’, fruity-cakes, eggnog, new game boxes, cars, and other toys.   What’s going on in the classroom of life’? hmm?

Out of the box learning in action:


Alfred Fisherman, Cherry Creek District 1922

Alfred Fisherman

Alfred Fisherman 2

Tenzin Tsundue’s “Exile House”

Our tiled roof dripped

and the four walls threatened to fall apart

but we were to go home soon,


we grew papyas

in front of our house

chillies in our garden

and changmas for our fences,

then pumpkins rolled down the cowshed thatch

calves trotted out of the manger,


grass on the roof,

beans sprouted and

climbed dwon the vines,

money plants crept in through the window,

our house seems to have grown roots.


The fences have grown into a jungle,

now how can I tell my children

where we came from?


Poem presented as it appears in Kora

copyright Tenzin Tsundue, 2002

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