Cradle Project

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                                                                                     Rezos De Oro c. 2008

                                               “. . . . the earth does not belong to us, we belong to it.”   Black Elk

Golden Prayers c. 2008
The artist team of Virginia Benavidez and Patricia A. Montgomery created a unique work that combines Native American symbolization with West African fabric and contemporary materials in the form of a cradle titled “Rezos De Oro” which means “Golden Prayers”.  The body of the cradle was created from scraps of bendable wood woven with wax string around minor joints and held together with small thin metal wire around major joints. During the construction process, a lot of sage smudging was used as a blessing for the many lost African spirits that die because of AIDS.  The tilting of the cradle symbolizes open hands and the birth of new life.The concept for the cradle is based on the prayer beads around the cradle which has tobacco tied inside and  holds prayers from the heart and spirit. The traditional method is to select solid colors when making prayer beads since each color represent a different meaning for the different tribes no matter where they live in the world. Instead we used multi color fabric scraps to represents the shared faith and spirit that is unique in us. Along with the string of prayer beads additional symbols were used such as corn, rock,  seashells and bells. These symbols are represented in the following manner: corn is a universal food grown from mother earth; various color rocks hold energy from the different part of the world, beads of different sizes and colors stands for all living creations on the planet, seashells hold energy from the ocean and the bells represent the celebration of an angel receiving it’s wings. The feathers in the back are so that the winged ones will protect those currently walking in life and for those yet to come. The beans were grown in New Mexico adding  more mother earth energy.
Frame Cover with African Fabric c. 2008

Frame Cover with African Fabric c. 2008

Ruffle Added c. 2008

Ruffle Added c.2008

Cradel Detail with Pillow c. 2008

Cradle Detail with Pillow c. 2008

Prayer Beads c. 2008

Prayer Beads c. 2008

Prayer Beads Detail c. 2008

Prayer Beads Detail c. 2008

Deans and Feathers c. 2008

Beans and Feathers c. 2008

In Memory of Virginia Benavidez
1951 – 2009