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60 Water Weaving Women

The ritual brought 60 local women together in celebration of water, our life-giving source. The ritual also bore witness to the contamination of our water supplies* and ended with a healing prayer. Inspired by the tradition of women as water bearers, each woman carried her own pitcher in the ritual as a symbol of her personal commitment to guard and conserve this precious resource. The combined waters carried by these 60 women represent the collective impact of their individual commitment. Their prayers were sealed in a bottle that will be offered to the Pacific Ocean in 2009. 

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The ritual was performed around a Japanese-inspired water bell that was first shown in “Water-Watching,” my 1995 exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Arts of Santa Fe. Choreography for this piece was created by Elizabeth Wiseman, associate artistic director with Theater Grotesco. Madi Sato offered her voice and Michael Baron his expertise in recreating the water bell.

* The Department of Energy reported increased levels of radionuclides in Los Alamos and Santa Fe drinking water.

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Video credit: Grant Taylor, SunCloud Productions