Friday, November 9, 2012

Photographer Honors American Indian Heritage Month in Santa Fe

National Photographer Celebrates American Indian Heritage Month with an Open Studio &
Gallery Exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico

In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month and the contributions of North America’s First People, professional photographer Marilyn Angel Wynn will host an open studio and gallery exhibit on Friday November 23 and Saturday November 24 between 10am to 4pm at NativeStock Studios, 1036 Canyon Road.

The open studio exhibit will highlight Wynn’s 20-year photographic specialty of Native American traditional cultures and contemporary lifestyles. Wynn’s passion and dedication follows the footsteps and drive experienced by legendary photographer Edward Curtis. “100 years ago Curtis was doing exactly what I’m doing today”, says Wynn, “he’s been my most significant mentor. I’ve picked up where he left off.” Originally shooting colorful images, Wynn creates antique inspired amber gold prints and applies beeswax to give the photographs historic charm.

Even though the gallery examples are dreamlike photographs of Native people dressed in ancestral regalia, most of Wynn’s image collection features contemporary achievements and modern day lifestyles of tribal members and their communities across Indian Country today. Many images have been used on projects by the who’s who in publishing. The client list includes Time-Life, Simon & Schuster, National Geographic, Sunset Magazine, Indian Health Services, History Channel and the Kellogg Foundation.

Equipped with cameras and a sense of humor, Wynn visits tribal communities with great compassion and understanding. This helps her to meet and photograph Native people of all ages who open their homes and share handed-down customs.

“I’m just honored to be able to travel to hundreds of Indian Nations and meet incredible people that have all helped to create this huge body of work”. Wynn adds, “The whole collection will eventually end up in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.”

Originally from Canada, Wynn spent several years honing her craft at a home base in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho. Last May, Wynn packed up her studio with the goal to make Santa Fe her new home. “For over a year my dream has been to have a studio on Canyon Road”, Wynn remarks, “proof enough that dreams can come true”. Features that encouraged Wynn to call New Mexico home are the cultural diversities, talented artists and centuries of history.

 Photography by Marilyn Angel Wynn, Website

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Zip Up Your Wallet!...Until You Read This

Zip Up Your Wallet! ... Until You Read This


Recently a non-profit association called my studio, NativeStock Pictures, to inquire about licensing 3 of my photos for a fund raising campaign. I was honored to assist them yet at the same time I wanted to do a bit of research to find out if they were a reputable foundation. In the past I’d donated funds to them without giving any thought as I had receive a large amount of direct mail that describe conditions of poverty, hunger and despair in Indian country.

So, out of curiosity, I decided to use google and find out what causes these organizations supported on reservations. Besides, I’m asked quite often what Native American cause I can recommend for their donations.

What I found out just might make you zip your wallet shut! Donors need to be wary of a growing number of charities that claim to alleviate poverty in American Indian communities but instead use donated funds to stuff their own coffers.

"There are many, many non-Indian operations that use Indians as a way of garnering revenue," says Jerry Reynolds of the First Nations Development Institute. The number of Indian-themed charities has been increasing steadily over the past 10 years, and the money has been flowing to non-Indian organizations in record amounts.

Charitable organizations are latching on to Native American causes because they are an easy sell. Americans feel guilty about the US government's treatment of Native peoples, and they give money with the intention of correcting history's wrongdoings. These unethical charities exploit the tremendous reservoir of goodwill that exists worldwide for First Nations people.

Locations of most reservations are in America's rural outposts which helps keep shoddy charity programs hidden from scrutiny. American Indian communities are among the nation's poorest, so donated goods and services are usually welcomed regardless of how they are obtained. Any kind of assistance is looked at as very beneficial yet the inner-workings of two-thirds of American charities remain a mystery.

When the Christmas season approaches, charities gear up for a holiday push in fund raising and American households are bombarded with direct mail and telephone solicitations asking them to donate dollars to various causes. But donors should be wary of a growing number of charities that purport to alleviate poverty in Native American communities. Instead they use donated funds to stuff their own stockings.

There are scores of non-Indian operations that use Indians as a way of garnering revenue. These charities exploit the tremendous reservoir of goodwill that exists worldwide for American Indian people.

The inner workings of some Native American charities are a mystery because of federal laws that protect church-related organizations from government meddling. Southwest Indian Foundation is not a church but still doesn't have to make its financial statements available because it was founded by a Catholic priest.

Another charity enjoying similar anonymity is the Don Stewart Foundation, an evangelist group that runs several charities including the Southwest Indian Children's Fund (SWICF). Supposedly the charity works primarily with the Gila River tribe in Arizona, which is an unusual pick for a relief recipient. The tribe is well provided with money after it developed two gaming operations, a golf course and a five-star resort hotel. SWICF representatives in the charity's headquarters admit that only 15 percent of donations go to programs. So, what happens to the other 85 percent?

Although a charity's policies may seem unethical, surprisingly they're not illegal. Tucking money back into charity operations by shifting fund raising overhead costs into program expenditures is a common practice and does not violate any accounting guidelines.

Before selecting a charity to support consider how well it will spend your money. The percentages of donations spent on program services should be 60% or more. Most highly efficient charities are able to spend 75% or more on programs. Watch dog sites, see listed below, can help donors seek out a reputable organization. Charity Ratings indicate a charity's grade based on percent spent on program services and cost to raise $100, which the target is $35 or less. In most watchdog charitable guides each organization is listed with its phone number, financial performance measurement and an overall grade.

Before donors turn a cold shoulder to solicitors that come knocking, they should remember there are plenty of charitable operations doing important and much needed work on reservations.

BNSH-677 One of the first things to look for is whether the charity makes outlandish claims about the dire situation of Native peoples. If they're claiming that Indian people and Indian kids are starving or without food, they're probably not legitimate. There's a great deal of dignity on reservations, and a Native American-controlled organization would not be able to retain the support of its constituents by making claims like these. Donors can also weed out charities by looking at the organizations spending habits, which are listed online by charity watchdogs.

In fact, it's precisely because some charities don't serve the interests of Native Americans that bona fide programs need all the more help. There's a tremendous need out there by legitimate programs that are run by Native people and respectful organizations.

NativeStock recommends that you consider donating to a tribe located within your State. Google: Native American tribes along with your state of residence and you will find a list of tribal headquarters and their phone numbers. Call the tribal office and inquire about the tribes museum/cultural center, elderly programs, school/college funds or food drives that are in need of donations. On occasion tribal officials have called NativeStock directly to request silent auction items or specific items like books, school supplies, winter coats and canned foods.

So unzip your wallet and write a check but only after you’ve done your homework and found reputable Native run organizations that can help spread your donations to many worthy projects throughout Indian Country.

Charity Watchdog Groups:

American Institute of Philanthropy

National Charities Information Bureau

My Favorite Organizations:

American Indian College Fund score: A-

Futures for Children score: B+

Native American Rights Fund score: B-


Saturday, October 30, 2010

American Indian Tourism Conference

Photos and Story by Marilyn Angel Wynn/

Nearly 57 million international travelers are expected to visit the USA in 2011. Why shouldn’t Indian Country locations compete for a slice of the pie with destinations like Disneyland, Las Vegas and Niagara Falls. Tourism brings economic development to many communities, creating new jobs and extra revenue. Through culture, history, recreation and landscapes Native American Tourism has so much to offer guests.

Located in the misty cedar forest along the Pacific Northwest are the homelands of the Tulalip Tribe who hosted the 12th annual American Indian & Alaska Native Tourism (AIANTA) conference. Over 230 tribal members and travel specialists showed-up to be introduced to Coast Salish culture and hospitality. The AIANTA event was held at Tulalip Casino Resort Hotel and Convention Center, voted as Washington State’s favorite casino.

AIANTA is a nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses organized in 1999 to promote Indian Country tourism. The Association is made up of member tribes from six regions: Eastern, Plains, Midwest, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. The purpose of the Association is to serve as the voice and resource for it’s constituents in marketing tourism, providing training and educational resources to Tribal members, and serving as the liaison between Indian Country and governmental and private entities for the development, growth, and sustenance of Indian Country tourism.

The theme of this years AIANTA conference was “Voices and Visions of Indian Country”. Attendees were there to absorb all that was offered like keynote addresses, breakout sessions and mobile workshops. Conference gatherers also spent a good deal of time consulting one-on-one with representatives from government offices of Secretary of State, Federal Parks, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Small Business Association. Evening entertainment included a dessert reception with hip-hop artist Casper, a welcome reception with traditional Coast Salish songs and an after hours Karaoke session.

Visitors to the Tulalip tribe’s exclusive resort are emerged into a pleasing environment that strongly displays Coast Salish culture. Eye-catching artwork of totem poles, wood-carvings, glasswork and well displayed artifacts have been installed everywhere. During a speech, Derrick Jones representing the Yavapai Nation, described the amazing showers as, "the water spraying out from the wall made me feel like a salmon swimming through a strong ocean current.”

Artisan and vendor booths that specialize on Indian Country travel and destinations were set up throughout the hotel's convention area. The Suquamish tribe sponsored an Internet zone available for attendees to stay in contact with associates, clients and family. Small groups converged in quiet sitting areas that offered privacy for extended discussion and exchange contact information in-between break out sessions that ran simultaneously throughout each day.

Next year’s AIANTA conference on American Indian tourism will be hosted by the Yavapai Apache from the Southwest Region in Fountain Hills Arizona. For more information go to

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Native Wisdom Beauty Products


Story and Photography by Marilyn Angel Wynn

Generally I don't endorse products, especially on my blog. Except for now, I'll make an exception and mention Native Wisdom Beauty. I'm using some of their products and have been delighted to see real results.

_MG_6141 Last fall I was in Denver for a family reunion. Through Facebook, I connected with FB friend Jennifer Wolf, a Ponca tribal member and Herbal Research Chemist. At that time my company, Native Stock Pictures, was interested in photographing Native American business owners. She volunteered as her profession was a research chemist who had been employed with the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). She also owned a small home-based business with a line of beauty products.

After we wrapped up our photo shoot, Jennifer gave me a few samples of her skincare products. She placed inside my camera bag a nice sized tin of Honeysuckle Body Butter and a bottle of her Blueberry Body Wash. It wasn't until I flew back home, unpacked when I began using her gifts daily. A few weeks later, I realized how my dry skin was improving. Scented with lovely flowery fragrances, I craved healthy living each time I used the delicious smelling cream or soap.

Jennifer's story is a familiar one today. Even though she had a prestigious career with the FDA, Jennifer dreamed to be a 'stay at home' mom. To financially help with the transition, Jennifer teamed up with her sisters to create Native Wisdom products. "As Native Americans, it was important to us to look to Mother Earth for answers on how to create natural products safe enough for a baby, but exquisite enough for the whole family" explained Wolf. All three sisters agreed to only use the finest potions used by indigenous cultures around the world.

Native Wisdom skincare products are all formulated with ingredients such as acai and blueberry extract, _MG_5995shea butter with honey and chamomile. Basically, anything that is good enough to eat! Native Wisdom Beauty combines traditional indigenous herbalogy with the latest in break-through technology to create sumptuous products. Did I mention my own itchy dry crepe skin? It's starting to take on the look of it's plump youthful self again. After summer, my feet resemble #1 sandpaper and feel like that of a bristle pad. When I started to rub them with Native Wisdom's non-greasy body butter each night I was surprised at the outcome.

You are probably as skeptical as I would be reading this. It's just that these results are for real. The products work. BTW, except for the first gift samples during our photo shoot, I've not received any endorsements what-so-ever! I just think that a wonderful natural product should be shared with other consumers. Another plus is that a portion of online sales benefit the American Indian College Fund.

I'd be interested to know if any of you are already using these fabulous skincare products. Or if you start using any of the lotions or soaps by Native Wisdom then fill me in on your results. I know that I'll be ordering more from Native Wisdom soon.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Children: Keepers of Tradition

Here's a 5 minute multimedia video titled " Children: Keepers of Tradition" produced by Angel Wynn of NativeStock Pictures.
Native Stock Pictures is now a full service multimedia provider. Using colorful Native American Indian photographs and stock footage with quality sound to create short productions for websites, business and education needs. "Because of recent web content demands and my original background in the film industry," comments Wynn, "it's a real natural to produce programs using stock photos and footage from my archives."
NativeStock's specialty niche is documenting America's First Nations. NativeStock's summer shooting schedule has a heavy lineup of events that include traditions, demonstrations, languages and more. Share your ideas and suggestions with Wynn by contacting her at In the meantime, enjoy this latest slide show "Children: Keepers of Tradition."


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Rainbow Boy

Here's a film project that I feel and care deeply about. I'm a backer and hope that you will donate a little something too once you watch this trailer.


Norman Patrick Brown is an independent Navajo filmmaker making a movie about his people with a universal message about the human relationship to Mother Earth. What began as a "short video story" has blossomed into an independent feature film with inspiring acting performances by new Navajo actors, and wonderful technical production values. This movie is a co-production between Brown's company REZWOOD ENTERTAINMENT and 220-PRODUCTIONS.

With your help we can make this feature film a reality. I hope you will join me in contributing to THE RAINBOW BOY film project. Donations start at $15. If you make one for $25 then you will receive a film credit. For a $50 or more donation you will receive a DVD, location tours and much more, depending on how high you contribute.

The Rainbow Boy is an allegorical tale about the consequences of loss of culture and human devastation of planet earth. The story tells about an ancient Navajo warrior, Eagle Catcher, who enters a sacred cave despite an ancient prophecy that warns against entering the cave. Eagle Catcher is transported to the future, which is our own present day USA, where he sees and lives the prophetic devastation of modern humans. His arrival profoundly affects young Ozzie Yazzie, a modern Navajo punk kid struggling to understand his own identity and culture.

As of March 2010, there are five more days of principle photography to be completed, which includes locations in Gallup, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. Funds derived through Kickstarter will pay for the final five days, and also go towards the final editing and completion of the original score and soundtrack of The Rainbow Boy.

The goal of the producers of THE RAINBOW BOY is to seek and acquire distribution for the International European and American audiences. As of this writing the film has one American and two international distribution companies interested in distributing THE RAINBOW BOY, but first the producers must finish the film. The movie will be premiered in the five different agencies of the Navajo Nation, and Gallup, New Mexico. Other plans include a grassroots tour of Europe, Native American communities, and film festivals.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2010 Census Important For Native Americans


Photographs by:

Marilyn Angel Wynn /

Should I Identify as Native American in the 2010 Census?

Any US citizen can. Even if you are of another race.

It is absolutely critical that all “non-enrolled” Native Americans, and those people that can prove lineal descent from a Native American ancestor, self-identify as “Native American in Combination with One or More Races” when completing their 2010 Census questionnaires! Get the message out – pass this along to your family members and other Indian friends.

Results of the 2000 Census
For the first time ever, the 2000 Census measured “Native Americans in Combination with One or More Races,” That number totaled 4,119,301. The number of Americans that reported themselves “Native Alone” was 2,475,956 (these are considered predominantly enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe. The difference between these two numbers equals 1,643,345. This is significant because this 1,643,345 represents the number of persons that self-identified as “mixed-blood”

It must be pointed out that the 2000 Census was “flawed” - in that it did not provide a method to distinguish what percentage of the 1,643,345 were enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe that chose to identify using this category only. However, it is generally accepted that the vast majority of these (perhaps exceeding 90%) are “non-enrolled” members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Many of them are likely to be direct lineal descendents of an “enrolled” member that do not qualify under tribal membership policies that impose a “Content of Degree of Indian Blood” (CDIB) requirement, yet they feel strongly tied to their Indian ancestral heritage. (Example: The great-grandchildren of a ‘full-blood’ Indian will not meet a 25% CDIB).

The 2010 Census will correct this flaw to obtain accurate measures. This is due to the importance these numbers have related to funding formulas directly linked to the federally recognized tribes.

Reasons for Self-Identifying as Mixed Blood Indian in 2010
There are several reasons why “non-enrolled” Native Americans, and those people that can prove lineal descent from a Native American ancestor, should self-identify as Mixed Blood Indians:

1. The 2010 Census can accurately enumerate the number of mixed blood Indians in America that still feel strongly linked to their Native American ancestry.

2. It can be used as an indicator that identifies “unmet need” for the Native American population that is “not served” or “underserved.”

How will this benefit Mixed Blood Indians in the United States? The Census is the single most important event in America that drives all Federal “Formula” and “Need-Based” funding decisions for the next 10-year period. Mixed bloods must not miss this opportunity to document the need! Various American Indian organizations will use these Census 2010 figures over the next 10 years to apply for charitable services and grant programs to meet the needs of non-enrolled Mixed blood Indians. While most federal dollars are earmarked only for use by ‘federally recognized’ tribes – there remains millions of dollars that are “set-aside” to serve Native American Indians that live off reservations. These funding opportunities are made available to “organizations that serve Native Americans.”

· Housing, housing assistance, and homeless programs.
· Education and education assistance projects.
· Economic assistance and employment assistance programs.
· Scholarly cultural and heritage research about the Metis Nation.
· Health and wellness, substance abuse, and social justice funding.
· Financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and business financing loans.


· Identify as Native American in Combination with One or More Races
· Get the word out quickly – pass this website link along


Photography: © Angel Wynn

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Origins of Native American Beadwork


Before contact with European civilization, Native Americans were making beautiful objects decorated with natural materials obtained from their own area or through trade. Trade routes crossed the Americas and extended to the Caribbean Islands, giving access to a variety of material: shell, metals, semi-precious stones, bone, ivory, porcupine quills and feathers, to name some of the most common trade items. Beads, painstakingly made from bone and shell, had many uses including breastplates and wampum. NPCC-231

The arrival of explorers and traders from Europe changed the materials Native Americans used, as well as influencing traditional patterns. The Spanish, English, Dutch and French offered glass beads as gifts and used as currency in trade. Native Americans quickly adopted the new material, incorporating glass beads into traditional patterns. Although the first traders offered the finest beads they could get, including amber, glass and faceted chevron beads, soon the Native Americans were asking for beads in specific materials, colors and shapes.

Most of these early beads came from the glass factories of Murano near Venice Italy and a few came from France and the Netherlands. Venetian beads had softer colors than the brighter glass beads made in Bohemia (Czech BNSH-709 Republic) that were introduced to the American Indians in the 19th Century. Both the new colors and the more uniform size of the Czech beads appealed to Native American beaders. This resulted in a decline in the use of Venetian beads.

Because the dominant European culture and religion discouraged traditional practices and beliefs, Native Americans began to incorporate traditional concepts into their beadwork. For example, Arctic tribes transformed tattoo patterns into elaborately beaded parkas; Northeast tribes replicated their wampum designs; across the Great Plains certain colors and patterns came to have significant meanings.

As glass beads spread across North America, each tribe used them to express their own patterns and traditions. Today, bead artists borrow beading techniques and patterns from each other. Many create new beadwork patterns based on tribal culture and traditions. Many examples of old style beadwork can be found in museums. While many contemporary designs can be found on ceremonial regalia adorned on traditional dancers attending pow wows today.


Photography by: Marilyn Angel Wynn/

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wanted: Native Models, Arizona

Photographer in Arizona hiring Native Americans to model for various photo shoots.

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Jpg Gallery-023

Photos of traditional and contemporary models previously hired by Nativestock Pictures

For the winter season I'm moving the Nativestock Pictures office and studio to Arizona. In the next few months (January, February and March) I'll be hiring Native American models. There's no experience neccesary. If you are interested then kindly contact Angel Wynn by sending a comment with this blog or you can email her directly at A current photo of model is appreciated.

Here is a list of some of the scenarios being planned so far:

  • Ages 19-29, slender or athletic and outgoing: Eagle Dancer, Hoop Dancer, Man and Woman as Couple, Native Flute Player
  • Family of Four: Mother, Father, sister, brother (children ages 6 thru 13)
  • Pottery maker from molding clay, firing and painting.
  • Traditional Storyteller (elder preferred) in coyote cape or similar outfit, rattle or drum with small group of 2-4 children
  • Any large wind powered turbines with one parent and child or grandparent and child
  • Historic Native re-enactors on horseback
  • Other suggestions will be appreciated
More Model Photos from Previous Shoots:

_MG_3016 BNSH-250

Jpg NPSX-319

All photos by © Angel Wynn

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Thanksgiving in the New World

First Thanksgiving In The New World


The Pilgrims were not in good shape. Nearly half died their first brutal winter. They were without survival skills, lived in dirt covered shelters and there was a shortage of food. They needed help.

The Powhatan Indians brought food to the Pilgrims of Jamestown Colony, located in today's state of Virginia. The indigenous people taught the newcomer's how to hunt, farm the land and shared their ancestral knowledge of medicinal plants. They were also taught to preserve berries, teas and other foods to help them through the cold winter months.


Harvest was a time of sharing. Together, the Wampanoag Indians and the English Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony (what we now know as Plymouth Massachusetts) celebrated the year's bountiful harvest with a feast. Today Americans continue to give thanks through a day of feasting with family and friends.

The First Thanksgiving in the New World.


photos by: ©Marilyn Angel Wynn/

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Home Decorating with Native American Style

Photography by: ©Marilyn Angel Wynn/

Home Decor-6628

Do you like earth tone colors and Native American style products? Are you considering decorating your home with these items and patterns? Or is your home decor already there? Using Native American Style decor is a great way to help add a sense of peace and harmony to your home while also helping to keep the Home Decor-6672 Native American culture alive. It will transform your house into a sanctuary where you can feel relaxed and at peace. Some of the Native American décor items are simply stunning and can’t be matched by anything else. Most of these designs use the basic colors red, brown, black, green and yellow for the items made.

Many Native American cultures and tribes sell their hand crafted items to make money for the reservation and to help share their culture with the rest of the world. For many, this is the only way to keep their traditions and hand-created artisan items alive in today’s society. Collectable items that truly identify with a specific tribe are Navajo rugs, Northwest cedar carvings and Santa Clara pottery.Home Decor-6644

From taking many trips throughout Indian Country, I've accumulated hundreds of one-of-a-kind American Indian objects from artifacts to contemporary artwork. Finding places to display the items is my biggest challenge. Keeping clutter down is key to any decorating style. Use enclosed shelf units with glass front doors and hang artifacts on interior walls. This will help with storage and add to the charm of Native culture in your home. Many of my beadwork pieces that are large are placed inside shadow box frames and displayed on walls.

Bold ethnic patterns for sofas and drapes can become too busy. After living with them for awhile can become tiring with too many busy designs. Living room furniture looks best if covered in leather. Instead of drapes windows are covered with woven reed blinds or wood shades. Fabric with tribal designs should be used as accent items such as throw pillows, bedding, place mats, candles and towels. One of my favorite items to decorate with are Pendleton blankets draped over a leather chair or used as a bedspread.

Home Decor-6679You can find great Native American themed décor items at cultural centers, Native American art shows, directly through artists and even on ebay. Visiting the online gallery at Nativestock Pictures, you can find photographic wall art that represents a little of the mystery found in Native American culture. Simple items can make a big difference in any room.

Framed photographic prints and canvas giclees of well known artwork help fill up large wall space. Frames look best if a victorian style wood or rustic antique frame is used to display the artwork. Antique sepia prints, colorful photographs or litho prints of days gone past can put you in a trance while looking at them. Remember, artwork should resonate and move you personally.

There are many sculptures available that can simply take your breath away when you see them. Home Decor-6674These are great pieces of art that details everything so perfectly. Bronze sculptures not only look beautiful but they will have a meaningful story that is part of the design. I prefer statues of warriors on horses or wooden carvings of busts to add character to a room. In a corner of my dining there's a full length warbonnet made with imitation eagle feathers displayed on a stand.

Learning about Native American style décor is just as exciting as redecorating your home a few fine pieces. The items all have a special meaning that has an interesting story to tell. This makes this type of décor even more stimulating. You can enjoy sharing the history, story and culture behind each of your Native American pieces with visitors that come to your home. My home? I call it "19th Century Trading Post".

Home Decor-6677

  • Indian arts of basketry, pottery, blanket weaving, rug making for collecting
  • Drums, sculpture, dream catchers, masks and rattles add mystery
  • Indian and Kachina dolls, beadwork, blankets, jewelry and clothing add a woman's touch
  • Buffalo skulls, bones, and longhorns bleached by the desert sun
  • Animal hides, stone carvings, arrowheads, bow and arrows for the male
Home Decor-6659

Photography by: ©Marilyn Angel Wynn/

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sedona Sweatlodge Deaths

For the past week I've received numerous calls from friends and clients regarding the recent deaths of the 3 people involved using a sweatlodge at a spiritual retreat in Sedona Arizona. I'm sure you've heard or read about this news by now.

First of all, the operation was commercially run. These people paid $9,000 each to be part of a weekend called "Spiritual Warrior" run by self made spiritual guru, millionaire and non-native James Ray.

Native American people do not charge for sweatlodges. You have to be invited by a tribal member before you can partake of the sweat. Throughout all my time traveling through Indian Country, I've been invited twice and have only participated in one sweat along with seven female tribal members of the Crow Nation. Of course there was no charge.

Of all the dozens of constructed sweat houses that I've come across and photographed, I've never seen as large a one used that is 415 square feet and holds 50 people! The general size of a REAL Native American sweatlodge would hold between 4-10 men or women, depending on size of structure and participants. Also, sweatlodge ceremonies are not of mixed sexes. Men most commonly will sweat first and then afterwards, while the rocks are still hot, the women will have their own time inside. Obviously I'm not a sweatlodge enthusiast. But 2 hours inside the dome-shaped sauna with no breaks or water? The number 4 is very sacred to all tribes and the ceremonies are broken up into 4 sessions so you can remain inside the sweat or come out to drink or drench yourself with water. Or, like my ladies group of sweatlodge participants, have a cigarette.

Sedona Arizona is the laughing stock of spiritual guru hopefuls who make considerable incomes by offering bogus American Indian ceremonies. How come when white's get involved with anything that may help others it's always centered around greed and money? Especially in the spiritual arena that tends to offer non-tangible products.

Ray's recent postings on his Twitter account said he was "shocked and saddened" by the tragedy.
"My deep heartfelt condolences to family and friends of those who lost their lives," he wrote. "I am spending the weekend in prayer and meditation for all involved in this difficult time; and I ask you to join me in doing the same." Great words for a self centered guru trying to cover his ass.

Ray claims to help people achieve both spiritual and financial wealth through his corporation called Harmonic Wealth®. His wisdom and promise is that after one of his retreats "You simply will make more money and become more successful" and "will double, triple, even multiply by ten the size of your business."

One promise of Ray's that was made absolutely true on October 9th was "My five-day "Spiritual Warrior" retreat promises to "absolutely change your life." It did change the lives of three people including their families.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Winners: 2009 Native American Music Awards



Photo By: ©Marilyn Angel Wynn/


Listen To Winning Songs and Artists

Jan Michael Looking Wolf
The Looking Wolf Project

Dancing In The Rain
Graywolf Blues Band

Bitter Tears Sacred Ground
Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher

Life Is Calling My Name
Shane Yellowbird

Skylar Wolf
Devil’s Son

Will & Lil Jess
Reservation Nights

Joy Harjo
Winding Through The Milky Way

Four Wolves Prophecy

JJ Kent
Ta Te’ Topa Win

Amazing Grace
Lenape Spirits
Wind Spirit Drum

Lakota Piano II

Native Pride
Thunder Hawk Singers

Gabriel Ayala

Bryan Akipa
Songs From The Black Hills

Peyote Ways
Primeaux & Mike

Deep Within
Tony Redhouse

Na Unu Nahai (Shape Shifter)
Apryl Allen

Band of Brothers
Midnite Express

Kelly Parker
Out Of The Blue

All Day All Night

Earth Gift
Kevin Locke

Eagle & Hawk

A Change Is Gonna Come
Jana Mashonee

Samantha Crain
The Confiscation: A Musical Novella

The Great Story From The Sacred Book
Rain Song/Terry & Darlene Wildman

It Is A New Day
Oshkii Giizhik Singers

Movin On
Charly Lowry & Aaron Locklear

Michael Searching Bear

Michael Brant DeMaria

Stevie Salas

Tommy Allsup

Ritchie Valens

Sunday, October 4, 2009

BlogTalk Radio Link

with Judy Lopez Tonight!

Judy Lopez

Call-in Number: (347) 215-8333

Upcoming Show: 10/4/2009 7:00 PM
(6 PM Pacific/9 PM Eastern)

Bookmark using any bookmark manager!

Host Name:
Judy Lopez
Show Name:

Marilyn Angel Wynn - Native Stock Pictures

Length: 1 hr