Tall Ship Dar Mlodziezy - 26 DEC 2018

Took the dogs for a walk yesterday and saw this ship:
Went back today for a tour.
This training ship of the Gdynia Maritime University is only here for a short time and is open for self tours today and tomorrow.
Dar Mlodziezy (means The Gift of Youth) is a class 'A' rig ship from Gdynia, Poland. She has been sailing around the world since May, in celebration of 100 years of national independence.
 The crew includes students from Poland.
She carries a permanent crew of 32 plus 136 trainees. 
At nearly 165 feet high and 311 feet wide, she weighs in at 2,255 gross tons.

She was built in 1982 to replace the frigate Dar Pormoza which had trained officers of merchant and fishing fleets for over fifty years.
She has participated in: The Tall Ships Races 2016, The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016 and The Tall Ships Races 2017. Other events are listed on a cabin wall:
This trip it came from Japan, stopping in San Francisco first, it sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge on the 21st.

From here she will be heading to Acapulco, Panama (for a World Youth Day) crossing through the canal and heading to our East Coast before heading to London and then back to Poland (in March).
They had a table set up with souvenirs to purchase.

I drove around the shore to Cabrillo Beach to get this shot:
This shot is from their website:

Day of the Dead, Rancho Dominguez - 03 NOV 2018

Originally a three day celebration consisting of Oct 31st (All Hallows Eve),  Nov 1st (All Saints Day) and Nov 2nd (All souls Day), it has evolved into a single Day of the Dead celebration here in Los Angeles, perhaps based on Mexico delaring Nov 1st - Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Deat) as an official holiday back in the 1960's. 
This year we went to Rancho Dominguez to catch their event.
It was a small event: several alters, handful of gift vendors, one beer vendor, one food vendor and some very colorful Aztec dancers of all ages.
Unlike Halloween, which is mischief (trick or treat), ghouls and monsters, Day of the Dead is a colorful celebration of life with love and respect for deceased loved ones.
Pierced paper (papel picado) chiseled paper folk art varies from crude to finely elaborate. Today's versions were massed produced, machine cut plastic.
Alters (ofrenda) are decorated with flowers, family photos, toys and food to welcome spirits. The spirits of departed family and friends are believed to visit these alters during the celebration.
There were several alters, including one for beloved pets.
Marigolds are said to help the spirits of the dead find the way to their alter.
This little girl (she was under 10) looks very grown-up in her festive make-up.

Genghis Khan: The Exhibition - 07 AUG 2018

Since February the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA has a special exhibition on Genghis Khan. 
Closing this month, it features artifacts from private collectors from Mongolia, Azerbaijian and the United States. 
Some of these objects have never been seen outside of Mongolia, and this is its' only Southern California stop on an international tour.
After Khan's death, the sons of his first wife, Borte, created the largest contiguous empire in history.
The Mongol Empire went as far north as middle Russia, east to the China Seas, south to Vietnam and India, and Turkey and Iraq on the west.
Genghis had 500 secondary wives and consorts, and today DNA shows 1 in 200 men may be his direct descendant as they have an identical Y chromosome.
This Imperial Passport (Yuan Dynasty, c. 1240 AD) is large enough to cover a dollar bill. It is one of two known Kublai Kahn passports and the inscription reads: "I am the emissary of the Khan. If you defy me, you die."
Emperor's Sword (gold, turtle shell, wood parquet inlay c. 1290 AD), Mongolian sword refurbished in 1760 AD for presentation by Chinese Emperor Quian Long.
Mongol nomads carried a portable eating set on their sash or belt as traditional Mongolian clothing did not have pockets.
Ming Dynasty Powder Horn (c. 1600 AD)
The design of a powder horn has been universal since gun powder was created.
Eggshell Porcelain Bowl (c. 1750 AD)
Signage: This bowl was painted by Castiglione, an Italian monk and painter to the court of 18th century Emperor Qian Long of China. Mongolian life was an enduring artistic theme in China.
Women in Khan's time, in addition to domestic duties (child care, cooking, etc.) they managed and milked the animals, produced butter, cheese, yogurt and after battles, they collected arrows and finished off wounded enemy soldiers.
The ceramic Ding water pitcher is c. 1250 AD and the copper ladle is early 19th century. Note the hinge to collapse for travel.
Hunnu Carved Leopard (206 BC - 25 AD)
Signage: The Hunnu (Huns) lived beyond the Great Wall in the area we know as Mongolia. Although they were rivals to the neighboring Han Chinese, they had some customs in common, including the use of leopard, rather than the dragon, as a symbol of the Royal House.
The sting ray skin on the handle sparkles like glitter on fabric.
Tibetan-Mongolian Hutug (pocket knife) c. 1750 - 1800 AD, has a bone handle with coral decoration.
There was a performance with one dancer and this musician playing the morin khuur, horsehead fiddle with two strings made of horse hair. Click on my YouTube link to hear this instrument: Morin Khuur (Horsehead Fiddle)

Silver, Copper Mongolian Cup, 19th Century
Mongols embraced many religions, from Buddhism to Islam, Manichaeism to Eastern Christianity.

Black Jade c. 1750 AD
Genghis Khan developed one of the most comprehensive codes of law and morality as part of his structure for a new world society. 
This exhibition was worth the drive to Simi Valley.