West indian culture

Celebrating Spring: Rock Painting Event Focuses on Native American Culture | Region

BELTON — Members and guests of the Four Winds Intertribal Society gathered Saturday at Yettie Polk Park on Nolan Creek in Belton.

Taking advantage of the park and the mild weather, they painted designs on small rocks, created chalk drawings on the sidewalk, shared stories, and listened to flute and guitar.

“It’s just a celebration of spring,” said FWIS President James Duncan of Belton. “We just wanted to do something relaxing that anyone could get into.”

Society member Anna Duncan of Belton showed off the rock she painted.

“I think it’s wispy, from the wind,” she said. “I made a whirlwind.”

They used watercolor paint on the rocks to make cleaning easier, she said.

“We’ve only done it once before,” she said. “The first time, I think, was before COVID, on a trial basis.”

Leila Valchar of Belton was one of the flute players.

“I play with my heart,” she said. “That’s how Sonny Armintrout taught me. He makes flutes. He’s not here today.

He also taught her about Native American culture and Navajo rug weaving, she said.

“He taught me how to use the loom,” she said. “Mine is about 4 feet tall, about 4 feet wide. I can do rugs and mats.

He also taught her how to do beadwork and peyote stitch, a type of beadwork seen on Native American clothing.

“I’m blessed to have them in my life,” she said of the company. “I’m very passionate about it. I share my passion. »

James Duncan said everyone was at the park to help each other build.

“Our future is here, teaching these children,” he said, pointing to a group of young people seated at a table painting stones. “They bond, they communicate. The elders there help them.

People who come to the event ask questions, he said.

“They ask us questions … about our tribes, the heritage of the area, in Texas, in Bell County,” he said. “I will tell stories. When I was younger, my grandmother used to tell me stories.

As some people were at the park earlier, he said, they saw a hawk.

“In our tribe, it’s a sign of good fortune,” he said.

Belton’s Joy Dilloway danced while a few people played the flute.

“I am Oglala Lakota Sioux,” she said. “My mom grew up in Lower Brule, South Dakota.”

One of her relatives doubted some of the family stories told by her mother, Dilloway said.

“I just found out that we found family artifacts at the Crazy Horse,” she said. “My aunt donated it in 1992. And now I’m trying to convince her to bring it to the Bell County Museum.”

She described an artifact as a club decorated with a piece of ponytail.

“I wish, because of the broken bond in my heritage, that I knew more about my own heritage in dance,” she said. “It takes so much for people like me to go back and connect the dots.”

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