In 1994 Space Shuttle Endeavour carried a special memento from NASA Astronaut Jones who wished to celebrate the southwest and his first flight. Dawavendewa was honored to create artwork on buckskin depicting the cosmos. Astronaut Dr. Thomas D. Jones was one of a six-person crew that flew the Space Radar Laboratory 1, as part of Mission to Planet Earth. The Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-C) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR) instruments were utilized to observe the surface and near surface of our planet, while another instrument (MAPS) measured air pollution in the lower atmosphere. Data gathered by such instruments contribute much to the study of our global environment.
Endeavour flight STS - 59
Altitude: 121 nautical miles, Orbits 183
Duration: 11 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, 30 seconds.
(April 9 - 20, 1994)
Distance: 4,704,875 miles
At the center is the Sun (Taawa). Above the sun are the symbols of the Earth, known as the Fourth world to the Hopi, and below is the moon. Radiating from the Sun are markings representing the milky way. Among the stars are four corn plants, symbolizing the four directions and the life that inhabits the fourth world. This is all surrounded by a rainbow - a symbol that the earth has been blessed with life giving water. In the middle of the "Earth Bundle" were placed six animal fetishes. The fetishes were accompanied by a Hopi prayer feather, and the whole wrapped as an "Earth Bundle". Prior to its flight, the "Earth Bundle" was given a traditional blessing by a Tohono O’dham spiritual healer. The "Earth Bundle" represents native peoples across Arizona and their long history of spiritual and intellectual understanding and appreciation of the cosmos.
Dimensions: approx. 2 x 2 feet. Medium: Acrylic on Deerskin
Collection: Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona
"At the countdown of one, a huge exhaust cloud spread across the pad as the shuttle lifted up but there was no sound. Looking across the bay, a small wave suddenly raced across the water toward our viewing area, it was the sound wave. When the sound reached us, it was deafening and vibrated through our bodies. Within minutes the shuttle was lost to our sight, leaving a long exhaust trail that became distorted from winds at different altitudes" - Dawavendewa
“I wish to thank everyone who was a part of the Earth Bundle artwork, This was not a one person project. From everyone at the University of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory to my fellow Native associates, business leaders, and of course NASA and Astronaut Dr. Thomas D. Jones. I have chosen to not list many people by name as I do not currently have their permission. If you wish to be thanked personally, please contact me and I will be happy to add you to the page. Kwa Kwa, Wado - Dawavendewa.