A Sacred Place

On June 12, 2013

One of the biggest honors in this adventurous search for earth pigment has been  pleasure of meeting and gaining knowledge from the local Kumeyaay Indians. The Native Americans here, by far, have been the biggest and most helpful resource of earth colors, geological and natural resources in our local land.

I was able to take a trip lead by Stan, a native Kumeyaay, to a very sacred place for them – the Salton Sea.This area of sea stretches for miles, barren and beautiful. It feels a bit like what I would imagine landing on  the moon would be like. Stan told us stories of they Kumeyaay religion, about the origins of the earth, how the elements and sun came to be, how angry gods bloodshed left the gifts of red clay spotted around the earth and how they also left sharp obsidian volcanic glass resting in the place we stand now.

This is what we came for in fact, to find obsidian, a volcanic glass. Obsidian was a precious gift to the Indians allowing them the make incredibly sharp weapons for war and hunting. In fact obsidian is the sharpest element on earth and is sprinkled all over the banks of the Salton sea. Obsidian is so superior to  surgical steel that it has cutting edge 500 times sharper than the sharpest steel scalpel blade (“American Medical News”, Nov. 2, 1984:21). It fractures down to single molecules and on the cellular level it can cut between cells rather than tear the cells as a steel knife will do. This means cleaner cuts and faster healing for surgeries.

This knowledge was discovered in the 70′s, until then we thought that our fancy surgical steel was best. Just another revelation where I sit back and think – how much more awesomeness from nature are we overlooking in our arrogant thinking as a culture? Hence these small triumphs of knowledge keep me motivated to  learned and search for alternative natural solutions. Sometimes the most simple and effective solutions have been there all along.

Below are some shots of our group landing on the moon and collecting obsidian,


IMG_4943 IMG_4945 IMG_4947A large deposit of obsidian


Stan, Native Kumeyaay Indian and amazing storyteller.

IMG_4991 IMG_4994  IMG_5002

Obsidian rock and some pink and white clay bonus



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