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LC Mameranus lecture on the Hopi and their Kachinas

During the statutory meeting of April 4, the President of LC Mameranus, Pierre KREMER had the pleasure of introducing the speaker Pierre ("Pit") DAVID, a painter specializing in the Hopis and their Kachinas, who first explained how he came to be interested in the natives of North America and especially the Hopi who live in an Indian reservation in northeastern Arizona, while recalling the misfortunes and injustices that the natives have experienced since the arrival of the Europeans and that they continue to suffer even today.

The Hopi still number about 7,000 living in the 12,000 square kilometer reservation and 5,000 living in the nearby towns of Santa Fe and Flagstaff. They practice strictly religious rituals and are great artists. Pit David and his wife were enchanted by the colors they saw, the mysterious atmosphere of the mesas on which they live and especially by the dance of the Kachinas that they had the chance to see.

For the Hopis everything on earth, every state of mind is possessed by a spirit. These spirits are called Kachinas or Catsinam. However, the Kachinas are also represented by the masks of the dancers and the dolls that are given to the young to initiate them into religious practices. These dolls, once coveted by surrealist artists such as Albert Breton and Max Ernst, are now highly sought after by collectors around the world.

The speaker then spoke about the shamanism of the indigenous people of North America, which is not comparable to the "pure" shamanism of Siberia, but rather plays the role of healer. The artist explains how he represents them in his paintings using all the shamanic symbolism. Finally, he explains how he paints with natural pigments. He shows us by projection examples of paintings and exhibitions of the last 28 years.

Finally he also showed some paintings he brought, especially the new paintings painted on slate, as well as two Kachina dolls.

The attached pictures show the artist and a slate painting.

The conference was enhanced by Guy Goethals who played two improvisations by Japanese composer-saxophonist Ryo Noda.

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