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Lingual History

The Power Of Words: Four Centuries Of American Indian Language
Reception 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 15; on display through Friday, Aug. 5
UA Library Special Collections, 1510 E. University Ave.
307-2781

Celebrate American Indian language with an exhibit opening June 9 at the UA Library Special Collections area.

It will be "representative of both different time periods and different language families," said event organizer Sara Heitshu, a specialty librarian for the fields of linguistics, American Indian languages and anthropology.

The exhibit includes interpretive word lists from the 17th century created by non-natives; American Indian language dictionaries, such as the one created by the Hopi Dictionary Project at the university during the 1980s; and school readers produced by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 1930s and '40s.

"Even that didn't stop the suppression of American Indian languages in the schools, but it was a step in the right direction," Heitshu says of the readers, which are in both English and American Indian languages.

While the exhibit opens June 9, a public reception featuring readings by Ofelia Zepeda and Simon Ortiz will take place June 15 at 5 p.m. Zepeda is a professor of linguistics at the UA; Ortiz, who grew up speaking the Acoma language, is a professor of English at the University of Toronto. As part of the reception, they will read and sign books. One of the things this exhibit will show is how language is retained in today's times, Heitshu said.

The presentation is done in conjunction with the American Indian Language Development Institute. The institute, which opened in San Diego in 1978 and later moved to the University of Arizona, was co-founded by Zepeda.

The UA Special Collections library is "loaded with Southwestern collections," Heitshu said, and this exhibit highlights one area of what they have.

Admission is free. --M.W.


Paws and Paintings

Animals We Adore
Reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 11; show continues through September
Halle Chiropractic, 1857 N. Kolb Road
www.alexandrajones.net

When she was hurt in a horse-riding accident, graphic designer Alexandra Jones did not know her misfortune would lead to what she considers her first real art show with her favorite subject--animals--as the theme.

When Jones was a little girl, she loved two things: art and animals. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, she moved to Tucson with her husband, and she continued to pursue her passion for animals and art by making furry, four-legged creatures the topics of her work. Jones likes to paint and draw dogs, cats and horses, although she has painted smaller creatures like ferrets and birds before. Jones has a special affection for greyhounds.

"I love greyhounds' sweet natures. Even though so many of them have had hard lives at the track, they still have loving personalities," Jones said. In fact, Jones adores greyhounds so much that whenever she sells one of her greyhound pictures, a portion of that money goes to Arizona Greyhound Rescue.

When Jones was thrown from a friend's horse and injured, she had to take time to heal, and it was then she realized she had amassed a great deal of paintings, and she should share her creations with the rest of the world.

During her recovery, she went to Halle Chiropractic, and she found out that they let artists display their work in the lobby of the office. They agreed to let her show her pictures there, and now Jones has a place where everyone can see (and buy) her paintings of the animals she loves so much.

Painting prices range from $250 to $1,000. --S.B.


From War to Zen

Claude Anshin Thomas, Buddhist Monk
7 p.m., Monday, June 13
Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd., Suite 114
www.zaltho.org

After serving with the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam, Claude Anshin Thomas experienced the aftereffects of war firsthand, being homeless for years and fighting the constant pull of suicidal thoughts.

His experience of post-traumatic stress is not uncommon, but how he recovered from it is.

One of the points that turned him towards Buddhism was a mediation retreat for veterans in 1990 run by Zen Buddhist master Tich Nhat Hanh. Four years later, Thomas became ordained as a Buddhist monk and engaged in a walking journey from the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to the fields of Vietnam.

His recently published book At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey From War to Peace chronicles how he went from a soldier taught to dehumanize the enemy, to being a person who now visits war zones promoting nonviolent alternatives.

He wrote the book as a means of release for things that he doesn't get the chance to fully discuss with others.

"Once impacted by war, it is very important for that person to tell that story," he says.

Thomas also founded the Zaltho Foundation, an organization originally created "to support Vietnam veterans to return to Vietnam," he says. The organization has evolved since then to support other organizations' efforts to help others who are homeless, drug-addicted and abused, Thomas says.

Thomas' Tucson visit wraps up a 60-city tour promoting the book, which was released in September 2004.

The following day, Thomas will also be participating in a dinner and speaking at St. Francis of the Foothills United Methodist Church, 4225 E. River Road, from 6:15 to 9 p.m. --M.W.


Tiaras and Tea

Open Dress-up and Tea Party
1 to 6 p.m., June 14-16, June 28-30 and July 19-21; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 5-7
Once Upon A Time, 1515 E. Broadway Blvd.
$11 per child

After her family's move from Chicago to Tucson, Laura Read's daughter, Alexandria, was dismayed to find there were no "dress-up play houses" in the area. Read recalls there were at least four in Chicago, and in order to fill the local void, she opened her own--which she christened Once Upon a Time.

Read says that in a world saturated with overly sexual pop singers and other mental junk food for entertainment, she tries to give little girls a place to dream and pretend.

"Children learn by playing and using information, and that's what this does," Read said.

Read's "doll house" is a whimsical place with multi-colored walls, special rooms for tea parties and ceilings swathed in tulle.

"It's like a little magic land," she said.

Read also puts on etiquette classes, Women in History camps and Princess School every other Friday.

For the open dress-up and tea party, kids can expect to get their pick of 75 to 80 different costumes, all of which are cleaned on a regular basis.

"I'm very particular about things being fresh--I treat them like I would treat my own children," Read said.

In addition to fancy princess ensembles, little girls also get to pick out sparkly tiaras and jewelry to adorn themselves with. Then after a dusting of glitter, they get to play, listen to music and participate in a tea party with cookies and a special cold sparkling tea, the recipe for which Read keeps under wraps.

"It's a secret the fairies won't tell me," Read said. --S.B.

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