Red Crow Sourbeer

Image: Terry Red Crow Sourbeer, Adanvdo (pr. Ah-dah-na-to)Cherokee word for ‘great spirit or great mystery,” 24” x 36,” acrylic on canvas*The underlying philosophical and spiritual similarities between proto-European German mysticism and Native American belief structures are not immediately apparent. We have become so accustomed to hyper-politicized historical analyses decrying the colonization of the “new world” and the concurrent persecution of its original inhabitants that to draw comparisons between the European and Native American world view appears insubstantial.Nevertheless, the visionary artist Terry Red Crow Sourbeer embodies the essential unity of these seemingly disparate traditions. Sourbeer’s life and work are testaments to the deep connections running through his ancestral heritage. The tribal name, Red Crow, represents the artist’s maternal connection to the Keetowa (Cherokee) Nation while the artist’s paternal lineage reaches back to the Black Forest Region of southwestern Germany. In 1682, his father’s ancestors immigrated to Pennsylvania.*The following statement on “Powwow” from the artist’s web site presents his background in his own words: Powwow is the very root of all indigenous folk healing (also know as witchcraft) in America. It is built upon personal and familial integrity. The Native American term Powwow refers to a shaman or teacher, a dream or vision. Powwow in the United States originated in the early 1700s when German witches fled Europe to escape persecution and gruesome death. Serendipitously, they found themselves in Penn’s Great Experiment where they shared their wisdom with Native American shaman. Powwow sprang forth as a result of the powerful combination of the mystical practices of these two diverse cultures. Terry Sourbeer, an elder of the Kiowa (Cherokee) people, is the product of that very same Native American/German lineage. His mother’s family fled the forced relocation— known as the Trail of Tears—carrying the ancient ways of the Cherokee. His father’s family fled witch-burning 17fh century Germany with the secrets of that culture.*The mysticism and pre-Christian spirituality of the Germanic tradition shares much with the Native American experience of Nature as a powerful spiritual force filled with life energy that man can use for good or for evil. Red Crow Sourbeer’s work is informed and animated by both the sunlit clarity of Nature’s nurturing qualities and its dark and mysterious nocturnal aspect.Terry Red Crow Sourbeer’s functions as teacher, healer, and artist exist simultaneously. As totemic symbolism of both Germanic and Native American cultures are combined in his contemporary artworks, he achieves the ancient alchemical goal of the conjunctio oppositorum (conjunction of opposites), in which all things are resolved into one thing – the mysterious eternal cycle of living and dying.*Paintings byTerry Red Crow SourbeerCherokee Spirit-Keeper and ShamanArtist Reception: Sun, Oct. 28, 1-5 pmCrazy Horse Gallery217 N. Miller, Street, Shillington, PA 19607 Light Refreshments ~ Native American MusicArtist Talk: Healing Symbols in PaintingExhibit to run from Oct 28 – Nov 29, 2007Gallery Hours: Tues and Thurs, 6 – 8 pmor by appointment: 610-698-8850Artist also on site: Sat, Nov. 10, 1-8 pm2 – 3 pm ~ The Susquehannocks: Workshop by Terry Red Crow Sourbeer, $10 admission5 – 6 pm ~ Screening of Haunted Highways (Terry’s TV Pilot) Free Admission

1 Comment

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One response to “Red Crow Sourbeer

  1. Adam Centeno

    This is my favorite post on the site.
    I find it to be concise and informative, and I also can relate to
    it in some aspects. I find Powwow to be very interesting. I believe
    it is extremely important to have personal and familial integrity, as mentioned in the post.

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