Red eclipse from last night.
Beautiful complexity in musical instruments. I love how the variations in size and the twisting of brass can make such a wide variety of sounds. I like to thing about the vibrations bouncing around inside the tubes and when they reach freedom at the end of the instrument’s bell swirling around to please the ears of the listener.
The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising.
The palace is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara. Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, started its construction in 1645 after one of his spiritual advisers, Konchog Chophel, pointed out that the site was ideal as a seat of government, situated as it is between Drepung and Sera monasteries and the old city of Lhasa.
The building measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging more than 16 ft thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. Thirteen stories of buildings – containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues – soar 384 ft on top of Marpo Ri, the “Red Hill”, rising more than 1,000 ft) in total above the valley floor.
Tradition has it that the three main hills of Lhasa represent the “Three Protectors of Tibet.” Chokpori, just to the south of the Potala, is the soul-mountain (bla-ri) of Vajrapani, Pongwari that of Manjushri, and Marpori, the hill on which the Potala stands, represents Chenresig or Avalokiteshvara.
Huichol yarn and bead art. In traditional Huichol communities, an important ritual artifact is the nieli’ka: a small square or round tablet with a hole in the center covered on one or both sides with a mixture of beeswax and pine resin into which threads of yarn are pressed. Nieli’kas are found in most Huichol sacred places such as house shrines (xiriki), temples, springs, and caves. The first large yarn paintings were exhibited in Guadalajara in 1962 which were simple and traditional. At present with the availability of a larger spectrum of commercial dyed and synthetic yarn, more finely spun yarn paintings have evolved into high quality works of art.
The beaded art is a relatively new innovation and is constructed using glass, plastic or metal beads pressed onto a wooden form covered in beeswax. Common bead art forms include masks, bowls and figurines. Like all Huichol art, the bead work depicts the prominent patterns and symbols featured in the Huichol religion.
April 10, 1919 (95 years ago today) Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata Salazar was double-crossed, ambushed and killed by Colonel Jesús Guajardo, an opposing officer who had pretended to want to switch sides in the revolution.
Emiliano Zapata was instrumental in bringing down the corrupt dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz in 1911 and joined forces with other revolutionary generals to defeat Victoriano Huerta in 1914.
Zapata allowed women to join the ranks and serve as combatants in the revolution. In Zapata’s army there were large numbers of women combatants, some were even officers. Modern Mexican feminists point to the historical importance of these “soldaderas” as a milestone in women’s rights.
Today Zapata is seen as a martyr for land reform. Even though Mexico still has not implemented the sort of land reform he wanted, he is remembered as a visionary who fought for his countrymen.
At least I don’t have to drive myself to work everyday.