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“The appropriate way to do anything is thoughtfully and gracefully—and with as much soul as you can pull around you.”

–Rina Swentzell

About Us

riverside600Lore of the Land nurtures bioregional documentation within indigenous and traditional communities of the Greater Southwest to support an ongoing, self-directed aural history program that is instrumental in maintaining languages, environments, and lifeways.

Mission: Lore of the Land’s mission is to develop and nurture the art of bioregional sound collage and provide training in aural history recording within indigenous and traditional communities throughout the American West, including northern Mexico.  Lore of the Land, Inc. recognizes the direct relationship between indigenous culture and environment, traditional wisdom and knowledge of habitat, the power of place and inter-species communications.  Lore of the Land enables communities to record their own cultural and contemporary aural art forms, control dissemination of these materials, and conserve their unique system of coordinates for navigating within the biosphere.  This knowledge holds the key to restoring the Earth.

Focus of Activities: Lore of the Land, Inc. trains scholars within indigenous and traditional communities in the practice of aural history and the art of sound collage.  We also produce radio programs for distribution and broadcast over Community Public Radio stations, sound collages for museums and CD distribution, and books and articles, all of which focus on the relationship of cultural diversity to biodiversity, and forward the importance of collaboration between indigenous culture bearers and members of the scientific community.

Previous Projects: Through a Ford Foundation grant administered by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, fifteen community scholars from within Navajo, Hopi, Río Grande Puebloan, Tohono O’odham, Seri and New Mexico Hispanic cultures were trained in the practice of aural history, and provided with up-to-date digital recording equipment and computers to pursue cultural documentation within their respective communities.  The project also resulted in digital duplication of the Loeffler Aural History Archive to be donated to the New Mexico History Museum at the Palace of the Governors.

Region Served:
Lore of the Land, Inc. primarily serves the Southwestern quadrant of North America, which includes northern Mexico, and occasionally other regions internationally.  The American Southwest is home to the geographically largest Native American tribes and the highest per capita populations of indigenous peoples in the United States.  The Mexico portion includes major indigenous populations, some of which are now divided by the US/Mexico boundary.  For thousands of years, these peoples have evolved within their habitats so that lifeways and lore, culture and traditions are intertwined with landscape and biotic communities.  While this region is one of the poorest by dominant culture standards, it is rich in knowledge and diversity.  This project works with community scholars from Diné, Tewa, Hopi, Tohono O’odham, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures in Arizona, New Mexico, Colrado and Utah to facilitate development of community archives and ensure local accessibility to cultural materials.

Founding: The organization was founded in 1994 in Santa Fe, NM by Lee Udall as the Native American Arts Scholarship Fund.  In 2000, Mrs. Udall and the board invited Jack Loeffler to expand the purview to include aural documentation of indigenous knowledge and habitat.  After Mrs. Udall died in Dec. 2001, the board reorganized. In 2005, the organization’s name was officially changed with the State of New Mexico and the IRS to Lore of the Land, Inc.

Sponsoring Other Projects: Lore of the Land, Inc. occasionally sponsors projects initiated by others assuming that they are compatible with the nonprofit, 501c3 purposes of the organization.  As fiscal sponsor, Lore of the Land, Inc is responsible for receiving and disbursing funds and filing all reports required by the funder.  Each sponsored project must have a board member as the point of contact who oversees project implementation and ensures that all reports are done correctly and on time.

The nonprofit purposes of the organization, as described in its Articles of Incorporation (Amended) are:

“A. The Corporation shall operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.  In furtherance of these purposes, the Corporation shall operate a culturally sensitive educational program that will:

  1. enable traditional and indigenous artists and cultural specialists to engage in professional creative studies, including aural recording and archival studies;
  2. support self-determination in collection and preservation of traditional and indigenous knowledge in the originating communities; and
  3. conduct educational and charitable activities relating to the bioregions of these communities.

“B.  Consistent with the foregoing purposes, the corporation may engage in any lawful activity that may be incidental or reasonably necessary to any of the foregoing purposes, and may exercise all powers now or hereafter available to corporations organized under the New Mexico Nonprofit Corporation Act.”..