Monday, April 26, 2010

Festival of Native Peoples

This will be my final post on our stay at the Cherokee Indian Reservation last July where we attended the Festival of Native Peoples. I have been delayed in posting because we went on a trip to Tennessee and also because I searched for copyright laws on the Internet. Some of my pictures were published on a commercial site without my consent. I placed a copyright statement on the side of my blog and urge everyone who has a blog to do so. I hope that the advertising agency that provided my pictures to their client will work with me on this. If not, I hope that the website will cease using my pictures, like the one below.

Click on picture to enlarge it

This was the 5th year the festival took place at the Cherokee Indian Reservation. This event ended with a performance of native dances, songs and music from several tribes of the Americas. In addition to the traditional Cherokee dancers there were dancers and performers from other states like New Mexico and Hawaii and countries like Canada and Peru. The festival took place in Cherokee, the main town of the Cherokee Nation which is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and is nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, near Asheville.

Earlier in the afternoon, we went to the Cherokee Art Market – this market was the subject of my post of April 4h. It was a lovely day to have a festival, but after walking for a while in the Art Market we enjoyed sitting and listening to the program. I took so many photographs that it will be difficult to make a choice for this post.

The Cellicion Zuni Dancers from southwest New Mexico have performed since 1983 all over this country and internationally – Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia. They were the first Native American dancers to perform in Mongolia.

Click on pictures to enlarge them

Their dances included the Pottery Dance. The dance tells the story of women carrying water jars on their heads to the river while dancing and singing to give thanks to the Creator for water. There are less than 15 women left in New Mexico to perform this ancient dance. The Zuni Pottery dancers first showed us that the clay pots were not attached to their heads, then danced and sang.

The five San Carlos Apache Crown Dancers from Arizona have white tainted chests with drawings showing lightning – lightning is a powerful Apache symbol. The dancers represent Mountain Spirits – four of them are the four directions and the fifth is the protective clown that drives away evil spirits with the sound of his humming bull-roarer.

Miss Cherokee 2008-2009 was watching intently

As well as the audience

A large First Nation family from Canada came on the stages and danced.

The wee children were so cute – and so serious.

Unfortunately I was so busy watching or taking photographs that I did not take good notes and I did not record the name of some of the groups, like the one below.

Then came the graceful Hawaiian hula group, the Halau Palaihiwa of Kaiouwai. They demonstrated ancient hula, chants and dances. “These are chants and dances that have been part of ‘aiha‘a since time immemorial. It’s rare (ancient Hawaiians) would include observers outside the halau,” said Kumu Hula the director of the group. “‘Aiha‘a means to internalize humility,” she said. “The ‘‘ai’ means ‘to internalize,’ and the ‘ha‘a’ means ‘low, bent knees.’ Our teachings remind us we pull our energy from the ground. The lower to the ground, the higher the frequency (connection to the ancestors).” “Hula is about regenerating life cycles. The dancer... becomes that living altar of hula and the circle of the lei, a symbol of that ongoing cycle. Hula is the healing of the land and environment.” “Our ancestors understood our earth was suspended. They observed, respected and internalized nature.” (from The Garden Island,com)

The ancient Hawaiian hula and drum dances were once a mainstay of Hawaii's ancient temples. An Hawaiian elder came to perform an ancestral chant.

The show on the stage stopped so the audience could go back to the fairgrounds and watch the Totonac Pole Flyers one more time. My last post was devoted to these fearless artists; see my post of April 13th.

The Git-Hoan Dancers performed the song and dance of the Native people from the Pacific coastal areas of northern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska.

The dancers now live in the Seattle area but can trace their roots to the Tsimshian village of Metlakahtta in southeast Alaska. The Tsimshian people, depended on deep-sea codfish and halibut for subsistence, just like the Klingit and the Haida, who are other seafaring coastal people. Tribal leader and culture bearer David Boxley founded and directed the group to preserve his culture which was on the verge of extinction. He is also a renowned totem carving artist.

The dancers of Git-Hoan, which means People of the Salmon in the Tsimshian language, use hand-carved masks as they tell their story through dances. They also perform with headdresses, skin, wood drums and other handmade instruments.

Raven Dance by People of the Salmon

A company of National Peruvian Folk dancers came on the stage in their colorful garments and danced joyfully

They were part of the award-winning band Inca Son – which means “Sound of the Incas.” Their music was lively and the old Andean songs sounded just right in the mountains of North Carolina. César Villalobos, the founder of the group, plays the “Sikus” or panpipes. His happy music can sound like a bird in flight of like the sound of the wind from his homeland, the Andes of Peru.

Playing the centuries-old music of the Peruvian Andes

And they kept playing and dancing until dark.

Then it was over and time to leave. But maybe later on this year, who knows, we may go to another event at the Cherokee Indian Reservation.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh what a pity that this is your last post on them Vagabonde. I have loved it and thank you for sharing all of your photographs and wonderful information with us.

What a wonderful festival to attand and I regret not knowing about it during my travels there. This is something I would loved to have seen for myself but your pictures are brillant.

Thank you!!

Kay Dennison said...

These photos are so magnificent!!!!! How I envy you this beautiful experience!!!

And yes, I have a copyright notice on my blog. It's wayyy at the bottom but it's there.

islandgirl4ever2 said...

Incredible pictures!! I love them!!!

Have a great week!!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can't imagine how much coordination and practice it must take to dance with that lovely (and probably heavy) piece of pottery on your head. Your photos, as always, are fabulous. I really felt like I was right there.

I hope you are able to workout something with the party that "borrowed" your photos. Someone did the same of two of mine, but at least they gave me credit. I would have never found out about it if I had not had a Google Alert on my name and my blog name. That only works if they give you credit and not if they don't. Again, good luck.

Marcie said...

What a wonderful collection of images. Especially love the children!!!

DJan said...

I have heard some of this music in my own travels, and I could hear in my mind the Andean music when I read your description and looked at the pictures. I have been learning a little about the Coast Salish tribes that live here in the Pacific Northwest, and now thanks to you I have learned much more. This was a wonderful event to know about. Is it an annual event? As usual your post is so well written and researched, I really enjoyed it.

Vicki Lane said...

I went to a similar event in Cherokee a few years ago. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful pictures and all this information! Maybe I'll see you at the next Cherokee fair!

Anonymous said...

Your photos were beautiful. No wonder someone wanted to use them. These are the types of events that can provide much-needed appreciation for the cultures of the Native Americans that have been nearly lost here.
Thank you for a beautiful trip to see their dances.

dot said...

You did a wonderful job reporting on the Cherokee events. Your pictures are really beautiful and I love the way you displayed them.
Can't wait to see where you go next!!

Elaine said...

Wow, what a wonderful event! To have so many different tribes represented and to see the varied dances must have been very exciting. You told the story of your visit wonderfully, and your photos are beautiful.

Marguerite said...

What a beautiful festival! Your coverage of it was superb and I enjoyed it so much! As always, your photographs are spectacular! Cheers, mon cher amie!

Kenza said...

Merci vraiment pour ces magnifiques reportages que tu partages généreusement avec nous!
Tes photos sont de grande qualité et ce n'est pas très fair-play que d'autres viennent se servir sans ton accord.
A ce sujet, tu peux m'écrire si tu veux sur l'adresse affichée sur mon blog.
Bon voyage et bonne continuation,

claude said...

Bonjour Vagabonde !
J'ai juste regarder les images, je repasserai demain matin pour le texte. Il faut que j'aille jardiner.
Il y a tellement à faire dehors à cette époque.
A demain donc !

Friko said...

a fascinating post. this is an area of which little is known in Europe except possibly by experts who specialise in native peoples of the world.

the one thing that strikes me is that dance, chanting, drums and colourful costumes are common to all of them. this is true of ancient European peoples too.
Dance and singing are universal, I don't think there is a nation on earth where dance is not used to express emotions, calling upon the spirits and to make supplication.

You took some wonderful photographs and I envy you this highly interesting and educational trip.

Malyss said...

Bonjour, Vagabonde!
Merci de ta visite. elle me réjouit d'autant plus qu'elle me permet de découvrir ton superbe blog!Moi qui suis passionnée par les Indiens, je me régale sur ce post si magniiquement illustré!je vais donner ton adresse à une amie qui vit aussi entre les deux pays.Et maintenant, je vais aller explorer le reste de ton univers..a bientôt!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

What an amazing festival !! I really enjoyed the shots and the event too !! I felt like i was there ..Simply beautiful !Also please visit my New Blog About Paranormal Studies of India.Click on the Link to view it Unseen Rajasthan Paranormal

claude said...

Que ce devait beau et intéressant à voir et à entendre tout cela.
Un beau festival que tu nous fais partager fort joliment.
Je ne comprends pas comment les gens peuvent se permettre de piquer les photos des autres sans leur permission. C'est incroyable ça !

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Wow, what an interesting post. And what gorgeous images. This sort of celebration is such a treasure. Thank you for sharing it!

Unknown said...

What a fantastic event this must have been! I think native american outfits are gorgeous and your photos surely make them justice. Wonderful post!

Ruth said...

The mountains are so beautiful.

I love the hula dancers dresses, and the elder is just gorgeous.

I think it's interesting that the dancers find the frequency going up closer to the earth. I too have been thinking about the amount of life in an ecosystem or habitat, that we don't see - but I wasn't thinking about the spirits that have moved on to another plane.

Beautiful, informative post, as always.

And I was so very tickled to hear about your visit with Ginnie. She just adores you.

Anonymous said...

If the site with your stuff on it is hosted by Blogger, you can go to the site and at the navigation bar, click on the link about "Report Abuse" and there is a spot to check for copyright abuse. Or do that if it is posted on Flickr. Or, you can go to the site and find the "Contact us" link and send them a demanding Email.

You should put your copyright right on the picture. You can do that using any program that you use to work on photos with.

Put the cursor where you want to logo to appear and then hold the Alt key down while typing 0169 on the numeric keypard to get © symbol and then type your name.

Ginnie said...

Now that I have met you, Vagabonde, your posts are even more special to me. I can just picture you doing your research and figuring out how to put your pictures into your incredible collages. I must say that I am totally impressed by the hard work you put into these informative, educational posts! Having been to Cherokee (albeit not to one of the shows), I can attest to the beauty of the place. I would love to go back one day.

I wish you a good resolution on the copyright issue!

Jenn Jilks said...

Fabulous shots! I love the Cherokee princess.

I am so behind in reading other bloggers...too much volunteer work and walking! :-)

Val said...

fabulous photos - I would love to attend such an event! how wonderful. thanks

cieldequimper said...

Bonjour ! Though I have roamed around quite a few reservations in the Pacific Northwest, I have yet to see such splendour. C'est absolument superbe.

Paty said...

Hi! I´ve made a comment in my blog about your request, in the same post (guacamole), come by and see what you think.
Your posts about the cherokees are wonderful, thank you for sharing this information.
Have a nice weekend!

claude said...

Sur la première photo, le danseur a de belles bottes, Elle me bottent bien !
J'ai eu une paire de bottes de style indien, mais elle se cont tout avachies. Elle ne me tenaient plus aux pieds. Elles allaient bien avec la belles veste indeienne à francges que mon Chéri m'a offert au début de notre vie commune, et dans laquelle malheureusement, je ne rentre plus.
Bon week-end Vagabonde !

Baino said...

Your photos are beautiful. No wonder people want to steal them. You almost have me wishing that I was coming to America rather than visiting France in September (and no my French is not improving, I just haven't had time to learn more than how to order two strawberry ice creams!).

I heard about people pinching your photos. Put your name and a copyright on the bottom of them as a watermark, you'll always have the originals.

And what are my horses doing in your photo? You know what I find particularly lovely, is that the youngsters are carrying on the tradition. Without them being involved these amazing dances and rituals will die. The pole flyers are awesome. I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks in Tahiti many years ago and the dancing is absolutely gorgeous but the singing . . oh my . .the ladies in Church could be heard from miles around with beautiful harmonies. I'll never forget it.

Deborah said...


I couldn't help but think that if these native peoples had been able to remain true to their way of life and not been - what shall I say? - écrasées by the white man, their world and ours would have been a better place. And perhaps then they would have been respected for who they are at all times, not just in circumstances like the one you so carefully and thoughtfully chronicle.

You have created some wonderful posts that do justice to what you have experienced. And you've made me want to experience that too!

maría cecilia said...

Hola Vagabonde, you are doing a great job writing about the Cherokee event and showing these great pictures. I was surprised to see people from Perù there showing national dances and their music, hope you have liked it.
Maria Cecilia

Vagabonde said...

SAPhotographs, Kay Dennison, Leesa, My Carolina Kitchen, Marcie, Vicki, alwaysinhebackrow, Elaine, Marguerite, Friko, Unseen Rajasthan, JM, Ruth,Jenn Jilks, and Val - Thank you very much for your kind and generous comments. It is always a pleasure to read what you have to say about my posts.

Vagabonde said...

Baino – Six weeks in Tahiti? What a dream. Thanks for stopping by.

DJan – yes this is an annual event. Do the Salish tribes have events like that too?

Dot – Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like my next trip, it will be different.

Deborah - I hope you can make it to the US sometime and attend one of these festivals. Thanks for commenting.

Vagabonde said...

Paty – thanks for your help with Portuguese and thanks for coming to my blog and commenting.

Abraham Lincoln – Thanks for all the good information. My program does not let me add writing, but I’m learning another one so I can place a watermark. Thanks again.

Maria Cecilia – The Peru dancers and the music were wonderful. I was ready to go on the stage and dance with them. I bought a CD of Peruvian music as it is so melodious.

Vagabonde said...

Ginnie – thanks for the comment. I enjoy doing the research for my posts. It’s more fun for me than just posting a photograph, but I am always afraid to be boring - that is why I try to post many pictures.

Vagabonde said...

Mayliss - Bienvenue sur mon blog. J’espère que vous reviendrez. Merci pour le commentaire sympa.

Kenza - je te remercie d’être passée sur mon blog, cela me fait toujours plaisir.

Claude – moi aussi j’avais une veste en daim à franges et des bottes western. D’ailleurs dans mon prochain post je vais mettre un vieille photo qui les montrera.

Vagabonde said...

Rebecca Ramsey and S – Welcome to my blog. I hope you will return. Thanks for commenting.

Zuzana said...

My goodness, look at all these stunning images. Your collages are breathtaking. This could almost be published in a book.
What a lovely tribute to these people and their was of living.
When I lived in NC, i would often visit the Cherokee vilages in the Smokey mountains. It was always an experience.

sablonneuse said...

Thanks once again for the lovely photos. It must have been a wonderful experience.

penny said...

Your photos are wonderful. They show the true beauty of the Cherokee's, their customs and the incredible mountains they live in.
Thank you for sharing your splendid journey.

Louis la Vache said...

Pour le 1er Mai, «Louis» vous donne un bouquet de Muguet.

PeterParis said...

You said, you couldn't take notes... However, this is so complete and well documented!! Fantastic show and perfectly illustrated! :-)

Putz said...

i didn't mind the indian cronicals, but i can't wait until you do another post of EUROPE>>.i will never return since i am not as adventuresome as you and so i do need you to fill me up...thanks in advance..the putz

Anonymous said...

Chère Vagabonde,
C'est un réel dépaysement de lire ce dernier post. Très intéressant et c'est important de conserver les traditions et les cultures, n'est ce pas.
Merci pour ton message sur le 1er Mai. Oui, la tradition est toujours d'actualité d'offrir du muguet au 1er Mai pour porter chance à ceux que l'on aime. Hélas, son prix augmente chaque année d'une manière alarmante. Business is business !
Passe une bonne semaine et merci pour tes charmants commentaires.

Hélène -

Vagabonde said...

Zuzana, Sablonneuse, Pam and Peter - Thanks for your nice comments – I am glad you enjoyed this post.

Louis la Vache – merci mon ami pour ce bouquet de muguet. Je suis sûre qu’il me portera bonheur.

Vagabonde said...

Putz – Thanks for coming to my blog, even though I am not speaking right now on what you are interested. I shall return to some of my European trips in the future, but I can’t tell you when exactly. I do appreciate your comments.

Vagabonde said...

Hélène Glehen - Merci baucoup pour ta visite et ton commentaire. Cela m’encourage à continuer.

TorAa said...

I'm just breathless.
And I admire the Natives the way they take care of their old culture and traditions.

Fabulous Photos.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

What struck me right away was how beautiful the people are. And how ugly most of our modern culture is.
The closest we came was the flowing robes of the 60's. At that time it seemed our whole culture could have changed and become more human...

Anonymous said...

The pictures are beautiful! I love the Cherokee kids, and the pictures of the farm and the flower power cars.

I was born in 1983 and even my parents were too young to participate in the 1970s movement, although they were (and still are) very much left-wing and committed to ideals that are quite similar to that era's.

I find it extremely comforting to see that some people are still living their dreams. "Hippies" are too often dismissed as dreamers (and stoned ones!) but the philosophy behind the movement is beautiful.

Thank you for sharing your memories with us!

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