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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I can't remember when or how I first found Balloon Hat. But it was a few years ago and I still follow them mostly through their semi-weekly emails. Balloon Hat started when Addi Somekh and Charlie Eckert began traveling to different places in the world to make balloon hats for people. The way balloon hats transcend cultural differences is the thing that caught me.

One of my favorite parts of their site is the What is Laughing? gallery. And my favorite story there is from a Navajo woman in Shiprock, NM.
"In the Navajo tradition we have what we call Chi Dlo Dil, or a Laughing Party, for a newborn. The Laughing Party is the first laugh you hear from a child. It's usually around six weeks.

It's the baby's first expression to the world, saying 'I'm ready to interact.'

Before that, the baby is still in the soft world and you aren't supposed to put anything hard and fixed on the body, or they may take on those qualities. But after the laughing party, you can give the baby jewelry or bracelets or other decorations.

At the party everybody sits around the baby and has a big meal and plays with the baby. The person who makes the baby laugh first plays an important role in the child's life."

Nancy Evans, Shiprock, NM (Navajo Nation)

Besides the website they now have a youtube series called Addi's Inflatable Minute: "Explorations into the beauty of all things Inflatable, and sometimes even Twistable." You can find out more about Addi at his New Balloon Art site.

Joining their Photo of the Week mailing list mean that you also learn about other cool balloon related items like this guy named Tom who takes pictures of abandoned balloons and posts them in a Picasa Album Balloons 2006. His picture of a string of blue balloons caught on a lamppost is my favorite

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