by Eric Whollem
copyright by the artist
'Netdim Kakinim' roughly translates into 'Dream Spirits.' This is
a designation from the Concow Maidu language of Northern
The art seen on this stamp hearkens to that of the Chumash Indians
of Santa Barbara County, but bears a general affinity to pictographic
rock art from early California. The Maidu did not practice pictographic
rock art traditionally. But they did execute petroglyphs, or deeply
grooved symbolic designs in bedrock formations.
Insects are greatly revered by the Maidu and other Native Americans
from California. They are considered to be spirit messengers.
CONCOW MAIDU CULTURE
Dreams are the basis of life for the Maidu. The Kuksu religion, practiced
by the people, encourages each person to gain foresight and wisdom
through the study of his dreams. The greatest dreamer in the social order
is called Yeponi, who is the head shaman, or doctor. The Yeponi is very
often the Hoku, or 'chief' of the tribal group. The Maidu seldom use the
English word, 'chief,' having traditionally used the expression, 'captain.'
The Concow Maidu used earth paints for body paints in their sacred
dances, especially the Hesi Dance Cycle.
A TRIBUTE TO FRANK DAY
Today Frank La Pena is the leader of the traditional dancers of the
Maidu. He learned the dance steps from Frank Day, the last of the
old time captains. Frank Day is now a revered historical figure of
the Concow, being a highly respected artist who worked in earth
pigments, making his paints from scratch.
I was lucky enough to have seen an exhibit of Frank's paintings
near the Butte County Library near the end of his life. Later I
discovered that his works had been discovered by Herb Puffer
of Folsom, whose Pacific Western Traders gallery is responsible
for the preservation of many aspects of California Native American
culture, whether dance, music, or art.
Readers interested in Earth Paints may want to see my posts on that subject:
On the subject of Rock Art one might want to see:
For posts on Dreaming see:
Artist stamps, artistamps, cinderella stamps, cyberstamps, fantasy stamps, faux postage, mail art, micronation stamps. Mythology; pictographs and petroglyphs; dreaming. Mythographic art.