June 16-19, Santa Fe, New Mexico, America Yatra 2018
As has become almost expected with Amma’s annual visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the area was met with uncharacteristic rainfall up Amma’s arrival, showering the earth and blessing Santa Fe. According to the Tewa tradition, rain is seen as a beautiful gift from the ancestors, signifying life and divine grace. This was a special phenomenon that echoed the connection between Amma and the Tewa Dancers of the North, who graciously honoured Amma with a special Deer Dance during the first day of programs. The group is from Ohkay Owingeh, known as the “Place of the Strong People,” and is one of the 19 Pueblo tribes indigenous to northern New Mexico.
In 2003, the Tewa Dancers made the long journey to India to perform their sacred dances for Amma’s Amritavarsham 50th Birthday Celebration. Aspen (Curt Garcia), who is the grandson of the late Andrew Garcia, founder of the Tewa Dancers, described his experience with Amma, stating, “Being near Amma is like being in Nature.”
The Pueblo beliefs and actions are guided by the core values of love, respect, compassion, faith, understanding, spirituality, balance, peace, and empathy. “Amma’s teachings are right along the same path of bringing unity to humanity,” said Aspen. “Traditional dances and ceremonies like the Deer Dance create a connection to the community, to our ancestors and to the earth.”
Amma said about the Tewa Dancers of the North, “It gives us so much joy to see that this ancient tradition is lovingly followed and revered even today, without losing its originality and purity. May the future generations also be inspired to uphold this unique tradition. The world would have transformed to heaven if every one of us had this compassionate attitude for Nature and our Mother Earth. Amma bows down to this tradition and the people who dedicatedly follow the footsteps of their ancestors.”