The harsh desert creates an environment designed to develop an agriculture and people that understands the delicate balance between all within its confines. Regardless of the limited resources, the creatures, crops and beings work patiently with each other to continue the life cycle. Every society celebrates its survival with music, dance and art. The Native American tribe of southern Arizona, the O’odham, do so too.

Woven baskets, pottery and song were the traditional media. Today each has evolved with the times and technology while maintaining the cultural traditions and taking new forms to conform to their tastes. The weaver now incorporates text and custom graphics while still using the materials provided by the desert. The visual artist now uses paints, pencils, charcoal, canvas and paper. No longer limited to clay and rock to tell their stories, they share the details of their creative spirit from their point of view.

The O’odham Visions Arts Festival, Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. to? is your chance to meet the artists who usually choose to limit their talents to their families, close friends and small venues A few have world-wide fame and may have started from events like this upcoming festival which will be held at aVita boutique in the Raven’s Nest, 801 N. 2nd Ave. (on the highway) in Ajo, Arizona.

The gathering includes musical performances from the folk style of the Mexican polkas and other related influences that reflects the closeness to the Mexico border. The instrumentation is basically the same: accordion, saxophone, drums, guitar and bass, all now electrified and channeled through a professional audio mixing board. The music is strictly instrumental and the background for the social dancing that is the preferred recreation of choice for most of the tribal members.

Since this is the first event of it’s kind for the tribal artists, it is small and provides the shopper a great opportunity to meet talented “up and coming” Native American craft makers and to engage in conversation to learn more about the O’odham culture.
aVita boutique in the Raven’s Nest, 801 N. 2nd Ave., Ajo
Look for the Raven in the mural on the front of the building.