Thank you dear readers for your continued patronage. My next novel out BLUE CORN WOMAN is in company with the saguaro, the star of the desert and a long-standing symbol of Arizona. The desert Indians see it as another type of human being, and when a saguaro arm is chopped off, they view it as amputation. Urban cowboys from Phoenix and Tucson use them for target practice. It is ashamed when some punk riddles them with bullet holes when it is rooted to the ground and can't do anything about it, and then there is saguaro rustling where the cactus poachers, if caught are thrown in jail if they don't have a legal certificate to possess it. A legally-taken saguaro sold by landscapers has to be registered and licensed. Saguaro rustling is lucrative, and each black-market cactus fetches around $800, but delivery is tricky, and the cactus has to be handled like a corpse.
When Blue Corn Woman sets her jars of cholla cactus buds on the bean counter, it is a signal, and the word reaches the Reservation to bring trade goods. They come on horses, burros, converted buses, and in rusty cars with shot-out windows across the Sonoran Desert like the Hindu shepherds and their families with their yak caravans bartering red beans for iodized salt.
Jewelery, coins, furs, beads, prayer shawls, pinion nuts, Kachinas, clay pottery, quilts, baskets, rugs, pistachios, pinatas, moccasins, seed corn, bone whistles, horseshoes, braided sweetgrass, duckbill flutes, dyed sheep wool, dream catchers, rawhide drums, spices, javelina hoofs, rattlesnake buttons, herbs, horse hair, yucca-root paint brushes, corn brooms, elk teeth, dried gourds, corncob darts, tapestry ponchos, even crushed-rock powders in every color imaginable for sand paintings are the much-prized trade goods traveling across the Sonoran Desert in caravans to the Blue Corn Trading Post.
Blue Corn Woman accepts only quality goods, no junk, and absolutely no subsidized canned food given to the Native Americans by government agencies.
The focus is buy, sell, and trade, and movement that makes the event an intelligible salute and framework for yesteryear's Native American life.
Copyright 2006 Sage Sweetwater, firebrand lesbian novelist, brainchild of Sage Sweetwater Creative Properties, flagship of Stone Creek Woman