Spilyay tymoo. (Warm Springs, Or.) 1976-current, November 10, 2005, Page Page 9, Image 9

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Spilyay Tymoo, Warm Springs, Oregon
November 10, 2005
P.tge 9
News from Indian Country
Howlalc Tichum
Renowned Navajo artist dies
(AP) - Famed Navajo artist
R.C. Gorman, who has been
called "the Picasso of Indian
art," has died. I Ie was 74.
Gorman, who had been ill
with a blood infection and pneu
monia, was surrounded by fam
ily and friends when he died last
Thursday at University of New
Mexico Hospital in Albuquer
que. "I Ie never lost touch with his
Navajo soul," his sister, Zonnic
Gorman, said in a statement
released by family spokeswoman
Tazbah McCullah.
"I Ie never lost touch with his
roots, and that kept him very
humble. I lis soul emanates in his
work, whether it was a beautiful
scene with mountains and can
yons, women or whether it was
a simple sketch," his sister said.
"Although R.C. the man is no
longer with us, his spirit will
never die."
Gorman was internationally
renowned for paintings and
sculptures of graceful female
figures, often depicted as gen
erously sized and draped in a
"I revere women. They are
my greatest inspiration,"
Gorman told The Associated
Press in a 1998 interview at his
studio north of Taos.
His work was collected by
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and
Andy Warhol, among others.
Gorman was to be buried on
land he owned at El Prado near
his Taos home, McCullah said.
Gov. Dill Richardson, who
announced Gorman's death in
a news conference, said: "New
Mexico loses a great citizen and
the world loses a great artist."
Navajo Nation President Joe
Shirley Jr. said Gorman will be
sorely missed.
"He contributed greatly to the
great name of the Navajo Na
tion," Shirley said. "I Ic afforded
us the opportunity to talk about
ourselves to the world. When
they took an interest in him, they
also took an interest in our na
tion." Gorman's work represented
an anthology of styles over the
years - some featuring Indian
rugs, pottery and sand-painting
motifs. Some were mystical, sur
real. "His color and his whimsy,
the way he celebrated Native
American women in particular,
and the way he elevated the fig
ures to an art form, really, was
tremendous," said New Mexico
Cultural Affairs Secretary Stuart
He said Gorman will be re
membered as "one of the great
est Native American artists." He
praised Gorman "not only for
the quality of his work but for
his contributions toward putting
Native American artists into the
mainstream of visual artists."
Gene A. Kcams, a Navajo
and pueblo artist from Albu
querque, said Gorman was a
mentor and often shared with
him important bits of wisdom
about staying true to one's self
and taking art seriously.
"1 Ie was almost like a father
at times," Reams said. "He
would take me under his wing
and share with me some things
only a true friend would get to
Gorman began drawing at
age 3. He credited a teacher,
Jenny Lind of the Ganado Pres
byterian Mission School in Ari
zona, for starting him as an art
ist "She gave me lessons in art
history and different mediums
and always encouraged me," he
recalled in the AP interview. "I
guess she was the most influen
tial teacher that I ever had."
Gorman found his artistic
hand, however, while visiting
Mexico. He acknowledged
strong influences of Tamayo,
Orozco, Siqueiros and Diego
"It was not only the art and
the color and the material they
used, but their subject matter
came very close to where I came
from," he said.
Gorman also relished food,
wine and travel. He authored at
least four cookbooks, each con
taining a collection of drawings
and paintings, called "Nudes and
He also visited the Louvre
and other European museums
to sec Picassos, van Goghs,
DaVincis, El Grccos and
"They're all, to me, precious
people," Gorman said.
Gorman had been hospital
ized about seven weeks. I Ie ini
tially was hospitalized at Holy
Cross I lospital in Taos, then was
moved Sept. 24 to intensive
care in the Albuquerque hospi
tal. Richardson, who ordered
flags around New Mexico flown
at half-staff, said Gorman had
been on life support for "quite
some time."
Gorman's friend and agent,
Virginia Dooley, said Gorman
became ill at his Taos home af
ter scraping a knee, leading to a
bacterial infection in his blood.
Born Rudolph Carl Gorman
on July 26, 1931, in Chinlc,
Ariz., he was known as R.C.
throughout his career. I Ie grew
up on the Navajo reservation,
the son of Navajo Code Talker
Carl Gorman, and moved to
Taos in 1968.
He is survived by his
brother, Don Mitchell of
Chinle; and four sisters, Donna
Scott of Chinle, Shirley Beechcr
of Black Mountain, Ariz.,
Zonnie Gorman of Gallup and
Carla Anderson of Kaibcto,
Wesley Leslie Charley
Wcslev Leslie Charley dustries. He also worked for
passed away October 27,
2005. He was 78.
Mr. Charley was born
January 7, 1927 at Simnasho
to parents Robert Charley
and Carrie Johns. He was
married to Jane Charley, who
preceded him in death.
Mr. Charley was a lifetime
resident of Warm Springs. I Ie
was a planer man for Warm
Springs Forest Products In-
NW Resource, as a fencing
boss and a logger.
I Ie is survived by his chil
dren: Keith Charley, Robert
Charley, Merda Charley,
Bonnie Charley, I illy Charley,
Dewayne Charley, and Lvslie
Squiemphen, all of Warm
Springs; sister Gladys Th
ompson of Warm Springs; 31
grandchildren and numerous
great grandchildren.
Custom Designed Memorials
Hand Engraved In Goldendale
For Over 1 8 Years
Pioneer Rock
tic Monument
500-773-4702 201 Cmton Road
FO Box 348 QoldendalcWA 98620
Pair study American Indian languages to preserve them
(AP) - Jeremiah Farrow and
Linda Sampson are spending at
least five hours a day trying to
keep 'an American Indian lan
guage alive.
The Confederated Tribes of
the Umatilla say only 44 elders
among the 2,525 tribal members
still speak their three native lan
guages fluently.
The effort to preserve those
languages has gotten a boost with
grants totaling $585,000 from
the Nathan and Violet David
Foundation, the Lannan Foun
dation and the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.
In addition to pairing master
apprentice teams, the Nixyaawii
School on the reservation
teaches students the Umatilla,
Cayuse-Nez Perce and Walla
Walla tongues.
Farrow and Sampson, both
apprentices, say they are pas- program. Sampson taught Head
sionate about bringing their na- Start classes and Farrow worked
tive languages back from the at the reservation's Tamastslikt
brink. '' - - - Cultural Centet running the
"There are only a handful.of front desk and working with
sneakers left." Farrow said. 'To artifacts.
lose it in our generation would
be bad."
"It's been the best year of my
life, the most enlightened,"
Sampson said. "It's opened my
At the end of three years,
apprentices may become li
censed as language teachers.
Both Farrow and Sampson
chose the Walla Walla dialect for
study since it's the closest to ex
tinction and the least docu
mented of the three. Other ap
prentices are studying the other
two dialects.
Both Farrow and Sampson
gave up their jobs to join the
Farrow has spent seven or
eight years trying to learn all
three dialects by attending lan
guage classes at Tamastslikt and
working with master speaker
Inez Reeves to learn the
Umatilla language.
Reeves, 80, is a short, round
woman with a bright smile and
an intense desire to see her na
tive languages flourish. She re
members speaking the Umatilla
dialect since she and her two
brothers were small children.
"There was no English speak
ing allowed at home," she said.
"My mother, father and my aunt
talked the Umatilla language, so
we had -to learn."
When it came time to raise
her own two children, she re
quired them' to learn the lan
guage as well.
Reeves has tutored three ap
prentices, including Farrow, for
two years, "Jeremiah is a good
student," she said.
Sampson hopes the program
will spark renewed interest in
learning tribal languages, some
thing she believes is crucial. "Ev
ery tribe has the same goal
keeping their language going,"
she said. "You can preserve it,
but you've got to transfer it to
your kids."
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Warm Springs Composite Products
Ron McDonald Chevrolet, Pontlac Bulck
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Warm Springs Forest Products Industries
Komopp J. Petersen. Attorneys at Law
Warm Springs Power Enterprises
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RAA Store
Experience our "Friendly" service
We accept
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end tribal
check cashing
Store Hour!
Sunday - Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Cans 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily
10 Off
All grocery items
One per person Expires 111505
Now taking cans and bottles daily.
Bedroom Furniture
15 OFF
Annual X-mas Sale
starts day after
m Spasm mss&m
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51 475-2578
525S.E.5th St.
Madras OR 97741