Gypsy's Travels


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Last Minute Decisions

Sometimes last minute decisions are the best, as when I asked Em if she wanted to stay with me a couple of nights. She had not brought anything with her, but we will make do. Maybe we will even cut and sew something to wear. Em has been sewing pieces of fabric together very creatively; maybe it is time to learn some basics.

Another last minute decision led us to a performance of the Kwahadi Indian Dancers at our local theater. We had front row seats for this dynamic group. They moved and twirled so fast and hard that we had a cool breeze most of the time. Pictured here, Alex chose Em to dance with the group in a large circle. It took a bit of cajoling for shy Em to get up there, but the young man was very persistent and Em had quite an experience.

I have been to pow-wow dances and other Boy Scout dances, but this was one of the best I have seen. I wish I could bottle the energy the kids displayed. Of course, the few "maidens" included in the program were given very secondary roles, but times are changing and the roles have evolved a little. A couple of the girls did join in the Hoop Dance and gave a very good performance.

The "Eagle Dance" was presented by members of the group who have earned their Boy Scout Eagle rank or Girl Scout Gold Award. The guys had long black cloths, edged in Eagle feathers, which extended from left fingertips to right fingertips across the shoulders. They dipped and swayed, moving their arm / wings to the drumbeat, then resting with wings folded around themselves protectively. It was quite impressive and really gave the sense of an Eagle in flight. The girls moved their feet to the drumbeat, swaying to the side occasionally, while holding 3 Eagle feathers in each hand. Well, I guess it is a beginning. There was probably a time when girls were not even allowed to participate with the guys. I do believe all the Eagles I have seen, fly the same. I can't tell a boy Eagle from a girl Eagle in flight, or on the ground for that matter.

There is more to this group's performance than dancing. Throughout the program, authenticity, history, and good decision making are stressed. Children and adults are admonished to believe in themselves, continually set goals and work to make them happen. On top of it all, the costumes are wonderful! It was a stellar performance by a stellar group.

The Kwahadi Indian Dancers have their own theater and museum complex in Amarillo, Texas, the Kwahadi Kiva Indian Museum. They have shows during the year and will be touring the eastern US prior to crossing to the northwest. They were joined last night by the Sahawes, a group from Uvalde, Texas. Plan to attend a performance at your first opportunity!

I LOVE being a Grandma!

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2 comments:

  1. Very nice to see this. I am happy they have their own place to perform.

    Do you see my photo of my car going 65 mph?

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  2. M.E. and I have been to dances on many Native American Reservations over our years of marriage. The most memorable was the Harvest Dance at the First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. The dancing and chanting was memorable and the notion that we were participating in one of their religious ceremonies will always be remembered.

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