Monday, August 23, 2010

Lost Language
A language that was spoken for the last 65,000 years was lost with the death of Boa Senior. She was the last one to speak the language of a tribe from India.

The black and white pottery technique of the Anasazi people is likewise gone. It was a precise skill and technique that was practiced for a millennium.

The keepers of the border collie breed seem to understand how one must fight to keep the instinct and working ability of these great dogs intact.
And so I ask, what about the skill and the knowledge of these great dog handlers? How many are really left that can fluently "speak the language?"
At the Lacamas trial last weekend, there was really only one man that could fluently speak the language. I try to understand, knowing I only comprehend the simplest parts of this amazing skill. I am frustrated that I am running out of time and scared for all of us, because I fear that the intricate details could be lost.
Maybe it is the photographer in me that feels panicked that this knowledge and wisdom is not being preserved and duplicated to the extent that it deserves. The horse industy has left us in the dust in the learning and knowledge sharing department. Despite all those damn cars, people are still pretty handy with a horse!
I am sure there will be those that disagree and say there is plenty of knowledge out there and that it is being preserved. To those, I refer you to the Lacamas score boards. Yes, some among us kind-of speak the great language, some know a few words, but only one really knew the language fluently on that day.
So, what does the future hold, and what will happen to the knowledge that we do have now, and the ability to do this fantastic dance with these dogs? I ask, did one child, or even a teenager run a dog at the Lacamas trial, despite there being a novice class? I personally don't know a young handler competing. Time is ticking, I feel panicked, not only for me to learn, but for all of us, and for a skill that I fear will fade away as quietly as a language.
When knowledge is gone it is gone! Anyone out there wish they could ask Johnny Wilson a couple of things?........