Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ethno arts… What’s that?

The Star of Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus,
and the Magi portrayed in the Kwoma visual language

Merry Christmas to all!

Check out this article about Wycliffe Australia member Peter Brook and his ethno arts research among the Kwoma people of Papua New Guinea.  Using photography and video Peter documents local artistic expressions, seeking to better understand world views, cultures and cultural art forms.

The article briefly explains the importance of cultural art forms and the challenge to preserve and adapt them in an increasingly globalized world.  It also defines what an Arts Specialist is, and how one's research can be used to benefit indigenous societies and the church.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2014 Indigenous Christian Art Calendars

Greetings in this advent season, as we anticipate the Christ Child's incarnation and also reflect upon the year that is coming to a close.  In anticipation of the year to come, I've found two 2014 calendars (so far) that feature indigenous Christian art.

The first is another art calendar by Missio Aachen, a Catholic Mission organization.  This year's 2014 art calendar features contemporary Egyptian icons by artist Joseph Khalil.  Each icon depicts a scene from the life of Jesus, along with text in German, English and French.  The calendar can be ordered here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Wise Men Still Follow the Star" by Native American Artist Jerry Yellowhawk

Wise Men Still Follow the Star, Jerry Yellowhawk
From Wesleyan Native Ministries:

Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk, a Wesleyan Native leader and Respected Elder... placed his faith in Christ in 1953, at age 18. Married to Johanna, he has pioneered new churches and served as district superintendent of the Wesleyan Native District. 
He has also assisted Wycliffe Bible Translators in providing a version in his native Lakota language. In 1995, Oklahoma Wesleyan University conferred a doctorate of divinity to Yellowhawk. 
Dr. Yellowhawk is retired now, but still preaches at the Lakota Chapel in Eagle Butte, SD from time to time, and still influences others to answer the call to minister. His grandson, Steve, is one of those who has answered the call and is now working on his Masters degree in preparation. 
“The sun is setting for me, but there are young men obeying and answering the call,” said Rev. Yellowhawk.

For a 2002 article about Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk, click here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Logo of

I recently found this cool logo of, a site that provides a Peshitta New Testament in Aramaic/English Interlinear format along with other resources.   The Peshitta is sometimes called the Syriac Vulgate and is "the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition" (Wikipedia), specifically the Assyrian Church of the East.  This logo represents the Aramaic word for Yah, a shortened form of Yahweh in the Old Testament.  Yah occurs in the Old Testament "about" 50 times.  The Aramaic form of Yah is used by the Church of the East on their altar and holy books (in the photo the logo is on the center of the cross).   You can see a cool pewter pendant with this form of Yah inscribed on it here.

Shamasha Paul Younan, the founder of, simply added a cross to the word to create the logo for his website. Concerning the dots above and below the Aramaic, Younan writes:

... the dots above the NAME reveal our belief in Tla Qnumeh b'Kha Kyana (three substances in one nature).  These are not vowel markings, merely decorations on the text. This isn't present in the Hebrew obviously.  The consonants Yudh-Heh (the NAME of God) are what is common between the two languages.  In the older texts, you can see the Yudh-Heh without these decorative dots which symbolize the Trinity.