In Honor of our Readers in India and Tibet

Eastern cultures are so rich with history, religious belief, the arts and education.  As a result of Meg’s posts on Natasha’s wedding ceremonies, we have a fair number of readers from India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia–the list goes on.  We are grateful for your interest in our  blog.

From time to time we would like to share some of the wealth of art and wisdom that originates from cultures other than ours.

A good friend, born Catholic, has spent a lifetime studying Eastern religions and acquiring art, primarily from India and Tibet.  His collection, primarily of Buddhist sacred and less sacred, carvings, fabrics, and decorative objects, surround you throughout his home.  Because he has attempted to capture the environment of a shrine, he uses dim lights and wraps his statues in beads, strings of light, fabric and other symbols of respect.  I will include posts on our blog that include photographs of his collection.

He is not a wealthy man so he is not competing with museums in his acquisitions. That in no way diminishes the beauty of the art.   The cultures reflected in these works are truly to be treasured:

Buddhist (and Hindu) female deities are generally crowned, serene in demeanor and adorned with beads.

Tibet’s fabrics are often ornate and generally rich with color and design.  Tibet clothing can be quite lovely, with ceremonial clothing full of color, intricate design and elaborate headgear. In the West we are fortunate to see examples as banners, wall hangings and prayer flags. Even such examples give us a sense of the beauty of their design.

While I love the beauty displayed from various works of art.  I am grateful for corrections as I stumble with identifying various deities and ornamental items.  Please feel free to correct me or to provide us with additional information.

We wish you well.

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Men of the Frontier–Kansas City Sculptures

Kansas City’s most famous outdoor sculpture, The Scout, stands high in the hills of Penn Valley Park.  Created by Cyrus E. Dallin, it won a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  Purchased by the “Kids of Kansas City” it was dedicated in 1922 as a permanent memorial to local Native American tribes.  I am fortunate to drive by it every work day as I make my way, with thousands of others, along Southwest Trafficway toward downtown Kansas City.  The Scout’s image is on local advertisements, and it inspired the name of an investment fund and a sports team.

Equally magnificent, if not as well-known, is the statute of Massasoit, (Ousamequin) Great Sachem of the Wampanoag, identified as a “friend of pilgrams”, created by Cyrus Dallin and donated to the community by Mr. & Mrs. Miller Nichols.  It stands at 47th & Main, on the East edge of the Country Club Plaza.  Massasoit protected the Pilgram’s from starvation in 1621, shortly after the founding of Plymouth Plantation.  He also negotiated a peace treaty between an affiliation of tribal leaders and the English settlers, which continued throughout his lifetime.  Unfortunately after his death in 1662, peace did not continue.  Four of his five children died in “King Philip’s War” fought from 1675-8 between the English colonists and local Native American tribes.

Robert Macifie Scriver is the sculptor of this powerful image of a cowboy astride a massive bull.  Aptly titled “An Honest Try”, it is inevitable that the bull will win this contest between man and beast.  But it is a wonderful depiction of what we often call the “wild west”.   Easy to miss in a tour of Kansas City art treasures, it is located on Main Street, at the New Board of Trade Building on the South East edge of the Plaza.