Numbe Whageh - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posted by: kameniev
N 35° 05.884 W 106° 40.065
13S E 347989 N 3885190
Quick Description: Large earthen work abstract sculpture at the Albuquerque Museum of Art in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 11:29:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMA3HC
?Numbe Whageh is one of two pieces that make up the Cuarto Centario Memorial at the Albuquerque Museum of Art. The Cuarto Centario Memorial was meant to celebrate the 400th anniversary of New Mexico's founding.
From the beginning, the project was devisive in the community. The initial proposal was a large piece depicting Don Juan de Oñate leading his people into New Mexico. Onate is controversial in his own right for his mistreatment of the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico and so the debate raged on between Onate supporters and Native American supporters.
What ultimately became the Cuarto Centario Memorial was two pieces. One is a large bronze sculpture entitled "La Jornada" consisting of many separate pieces depicting Onate and his settlers marching into New Mexico and adjacent to this, a large earthen work sculpture by Artist Nora Naranjo-Morse entitled "Numbe Whageh" (Our Center Place) which symbolizes the Native American people's connection to their land and people.
Numbe Whageh is made up of several spiraling earthen berms adorned with the native plants and rocks of New Mexico. At it's center is a primitive rock cairn. Visitors can walk a narrow trail down the spiral to view the centerpiece.
A large plaque marks the start of the journey through the spiral which reads:
Our Center Place
From the beginning of time, life has swirled
within and around Numbe Whageh, our
Pueblo center place.
Clouds rise from the mountain peaks into
billowing white giants in the sky. Winds gather
from the four directions. Lightning and thunder
follow the clouds and the smell of rain fills the air.
Drops of water soak the dry, cracked ground as
wet pebbles and rocks glisten with subtle
browns and greys. Small trickles of water
find their way around trees, boulders and stones
through Numbe Whageh
Here birds, lizards and ants come to drink and live.
Pinons, chamisas and grasses sprout, grow and
send off seeds to sustain others and start life anew.
Cycles begin, continue and fade. It is out of this
moist center place that the Towa, the Pueblo people
emerged. From here, we, the Towa, know the clouds,
mountains, winds and all other creatures who swirl
with us. This is our world place. Here we see
beauty, feel love and know a sacred wholeness...
at Numbe Whageh, our center place.
I have also included photos of the work up close as well as a photo of the plaque. This artwork is also listed on the Smithsonian Art Inventory website which I provided.
Please provide another photo of the location. You don't have to be in there shot, but you can. The photo requirement is to discourage any armchair visiting.