NatGeo Puts Four Corners on the Map.

Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum



By Rachel Shockley
Special to the Drum
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Cultural Dancers joined the National Geographic Society and partners from the Four Corners on Saturday, June 2 to invite tourists to experience the local history, culture and wilderness.
National Geographic has named the Four Corners area a “geotourism destination” and launched an interactive website and map to promote its many natural attractions. The launch of the Four Corners Region Geotourism MapGuide at Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, N.M., drew dignitaries and visitors from all over to tour the ruins and enjoy cultural dancing with help from Ignacio-based drum group 12 Gauge.
Approximately 65 million “geotourists” from around the world are looking for experiential vacations where they can rub shoulders with the locals, according to National Geographic. The new map provides more than 800 suggestions, recommended by locals.
Geotourism MapGuides Coordinator Jim Dion said he hopes the map will answer the question: “What can people do here in this place that they can do no place else?”
“Travelers are risk averse,” he said. “By indexing sites and introducing people to these sites before they commit, we can inspire people to go to places they wouldn’t normally go.”
By attending local events, visiting local places and patronizing local businesses, geotourists will get a glimpse of what life is like here in the Four Corners — and National Geographic is betting they’re going to like it. The locals might, too: Statistically geotourists spend more money, stay longer, and care more about the culture and environment of the places they visit.
Members of the Southern Ute Royalty led the procession of Cultural Dancers during a grand entry exhibition at the ruins. Women, followed by the men, showcased several styles of dancing and regalia for the crowd. The Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum also manned a booth to answer questions and promote Ute culture and heritage.
Aztec Fiesta Days
The Cultural Dancers also performed at Minium Park for the annual Aztec Fiesta Days later that day. Crowds of locals and visitors cheered on the 18 dancers as they exhibited the beauty and athleticism of traditional Native American dance. They finished the events with a round dance, inviting spectators to experience a little Ute culture for themselves by joining in.
“I love dancing,” said Cultural Dancer and Southern Ute tribal member Greg Bison after the round dance. “It’s my tradition. I dance for my family and my people, and for people who aren’t able to dance.”
Regarding how many people he has taught to dance, he said simply, “I’ve lost count.”
Making of the map
The Four Corners Region Geotourism MapGuide is a culmination of two years of collaboration between tribes, governments, businesses and locals. All 800-plus sights were recommended by locals and reviewed by National Geographic Maps and the Four Corners Region Geotourism Stewardship Council.
Print maps can be purchased for $11.95 and show 100 of the total sites, broken into four categories: archeology; outdoor recreation; water and geology; and art, music, and culture. Captions and information on select sites make it easy to find events or places that are interesting to visit.
All the sites can be explored in detail online at http://www.fourcornersgeoturism.com. Here locals can also make recommendations to add to the map over time.
Places and events on the map include the Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum, the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo, and Ute Mountain Tribal Park.
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David Alan Harvey Presents…Divided Soul!

Photograph © David Alan Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

I am pleased to say that my long time friend and mentor, David Alan Harvey, will be showing his work at the prestigious Open Shutter gallery right here in my home town, Durango, Colorado.

The show opens this Friday, May 13, followed by a formal lecture on Saturday. David is traveling to Durango to present Divided Soul as an accompaniment to the photographic exhibition of the same name.

Visit the Open Shutters site to see a preview of Mr. Harvey’s work spanning decades of assignments working across Spain and Latin America.

David is a Magnum photographer, long time contributor to National Geographic Magazine, and the editor of Burn Magazine.

If your in the neighborhood, certainly don’t miss this opportunity to meet David in person…Cheers, Jeremy

Mentorship, Authorship, and the Words of David Alan Harvey.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2011.

I first saw the work of David Alan Harvey at an impressionable time in my life. I was in my early twenties, working and studying in Latin America. The books and literature I consumed revolved around Spanish culture at large. I clearly remember sitting in my small, barren apartment overlooking the colonial architecture of Cuenca sprawling out below me, a quart of mildly warm Pilsner at my side and a National Geographic magazine opened to an article on Cuba. The work was David’s of course. I said to myself, this guy knows how to have a good time…. And he shoots for the Geographic.

I was inspired.

The intimate, colorful images stuck with me as I traversed the full length of Central America and Mexico, camera in hand, arriving some months later in a poorly lit bus depot outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had completed my journey. I immediately sought out a lab to develop the film canisters I had been packing around, in a ragged ziplock bag. So began my passion for imagery.

In the following year I would return to Colorado and finish my degree in architecture. I wasted no time in unpacking an old Pentax K1000, given to me by my mother upon graduating high school, and made friends with the Universities’ visual resource department. Hours washed away in the darkroom.

My love of photography, combined with a lifetime of travel, set in motion a career which I had not yet fully conceptualized.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

In the years following my degree I found myself wandering the red earthen trails of Ha Mohatlane, generally just keeping myself busy, shooting as much film as I could afford to develop on the stipend of a Peace Corps volunteer working in Africa. This was not a large sum of money. Passion led to direction. I needed fuel. My time in Lesotho neared it’s end, I had crossed every district in the Mountain Kingdom, photographed most of it, and desperately wanted to understand photojournalism to a fuller extent. I knew then that I wanted to make a difference through photography.

The words and images of David Alan Harvey came to me in a small field guide published by the National Geographic, where a dozen or so iconic Geographic photographers really speak from the heart about image making and the role of photography in telling a story. I soaked this one up- a couple of times. I related especially to David’s intimate and honest approach. More about the moment-less about the equipment.

Two years later I was introducing myself to David Harvey and Jodi Cobb in a room full of photographers.

Back on American soil, my drive was fueled by the immediate desire to make a career for myself, the opportunities presented by a fist full of credit cards, and an open road. With that said, I packed my aging pickup, a nineteen and seventy-seven Chevrolet with the basics, a couple of film cameras and headed to Wyoming for a weeklong workshop led by some of the most respected and iconic photographers and editors of our time. I can’t quite say “the rest is history” because that was only the beginning!

I took this portrait of David the other day at a cafe, not the exact photo I had intended to take just moments before, while sipping on my coffee. David, relaxed, pensive, his hands gesturing as his thoughts formulated. I missed that one. This will have to work.

David’s advice…Sail your own Boat!

A short video segment produced by David’s son, Bryan Harvey …enjoy the film.

Bryan Harvey Films

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

William R. Gray

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009.

Will Gray: writer, photographer and teacher.

Will has led a life of adventure, with a distinguished career at the National Geographic and numerous books to his name.

We met in New Mexico late last year over lunch to talk journalism, and more recently I was under his instruction as a participant of a writing course at Fort Lewis College.

Will is generous in nature and a born educator! I was fortunate enough to have had an opportunity to put him behind the lens one evening as he imparted us with his knowledge of the written language.

Thanks Will!

Cheers, Jeremy

Voyages to Paradise, Will Gray followed in the foot steps of Captain Cook to create this historical nonfiction piece published by the National Geographic Society.