Most Native American cultures believe that the hummingbird is a positive force in the world. Some think they’re healers or carriers of spiritual messages; some believe they are a totem of strength and determination. That one makes sense if you have ever watched a hummingbird defend its territory! In a Hopi legend, the hummingbird is responsible for bringing rain to the people.
I love the fact that there is nothing bad about hummingbirds! When the summer comes, it is a ritual for many people to put out the feeders. At the Glen Comfort Store in the Big Thompson Canyon outside of Estes Park, Colorado, owner Harold Tregent and his partner, Van, put out dozens of feeders every morning and bring them in every night to keep the bears from going after the sugar water.
On the other side of Estes Park, the same ritual occurred every day at the Charles Eagle Plume’s Trading Post.
I love watching hummingbirds; they just make you feel good! So, I was really surprised and delighted when one of our favorite Navajo artists, Peter Ray James, showed up with a painting he called Hummingbird World. Like all of Peter’s original paintings, it is bright and colorful and pulls a smile from anyone looking at it.
Peter is a good friend and we have done business together for nearly 40 years. He has had some rough times in his life but now spends most of the time when he is not working helping other people. He is an avid mountain bike rider and loves the outdoors.
See all art by Peter Ray James currently in the Gallery
He started as a painter and then moved into fabric art. He still does that, but it seems like he is spending more and more time at the easel, and we are happy about that! When you pull out your hummingbird feeder this year, send a good thought to Peter. It won’t matter where you are, he is one of those special people who will hear you!