Native American Storytelling ---> Featuring Thunderbird American Dancers

4년 전

Native American Storytelling


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Most of us have had storytellers in our country, culture, race, or religion. Many of us love a really good story and raised by family members that were storytellers. Being a member of the Steemit community hopefully means we love to blog, read, and maybe read a good story too.

Personally, I always had someone telling me a story and I have always been fascinated by anyone who could tell a story with such ease. Since I was a young child, I would sit and stare wide eyed awaiting the next line, dance, or expression with baited breath.

Within the Native American community there are people we call storytellers and some are dancers, but mostly there is a mix of both. Everything is a story to be told and sometimes retold but with a different artistic flair.

The history of Native American storytelling

Typically, Native American storytelling messages are a traditional way to teach the tribes. The messages are simple and entertaining. There is usually a positive and negative factor that illustrates the consequences of actions and encourages inner reflection.

Most storytelling is an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation. Those listening may feel a pull to an inner connection to those from their ancestry. For some tribes, storytelling is a way to encourage ancient medicinal practices and traditional healthcare through natural means.

I'm sharing these historical facts since I am going to share with you a lovely group of storytellers I encountered while living in New York City (NYC). But first let me tell you how I met them.

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

During my time living in NYC I attended many pow wows and cultural events. During one of these ceremonies I met a Hopi Chief that invited me to his dancing group. This group not only shared their stories with the NYC community but traveled all over America teaching through storytelling and dancing.

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The name of these amazing educators is the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers or Thunderbirds. On many occasions I attending their events and assisted with fundraising. It was during one of these moments that I was able to take some photographs and I will share some of the stories they share with the public.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

During the night of storytelling there is the eagle dance, and this is the story of an eagle's life from birth until death. In many tribes the eagle is considered a god and the dance represents the eagle as it is flying and hunting. The eagle dance is usually performed in a tribe when it is need of divine intervention.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

The dancing continues with the women dancing a traditional fancy shawl ensemble that is interpreted in different ways depending on the tribe.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

According to Indian Country Today, the fancy shawl dance was a feminization of the restricted traditional dances of the generations prior to 1950.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

Some say the dance is a reflection of the butterfly and when the women open their arms it is the resemblance of the butterfly's wings.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

The women in the group were very entertaining and always open to sharing their tribes culture. I greatly admired when they would take their time to interact with the audience throughout the show. From the time we all entered the theatre until after everyone was always friendly. It was evident that these teachers wanted to share a part of their tribal history with the public.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

Usually at beginning of a dance or after an intermission, Native Americans dance in a circle as a form of welcoming all spirits together in harmony and peace. Often in public ceremonies its is a common practice to invite all attendees to participate in a communal dance circle. If you have never been to one of these events I encourage you to try it out. It is a ton of fun!

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

One of my good friends is a sweet Hopi Chief and founder of this beautiful group. They have been dancing and telling stories in the NYC area since 1963.

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If you are ever in the NYC area and you are interested in Native American culture, I encourage you to attend one of these very educational storytelling events. Thunderbird 2017-2018 Event Calendar.

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Photo taken by @eaglespirit

The Thunderbirds end their night with a group song around the drums, singing of unity and hope for humanity. Hopefully, that is the way we would all want to end a good story. Peace.

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The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim (עץ החיים) has upvoted you with divine emanations of G-ds creation itself ex nihilo. We reveal Light by transforming our Desire to Receive for Ourselves to a Desire to Receive for Others. I am part of the Curators Guild (Sephiroth), through which Ein Sof (The Infinite) reveals Itself!

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how da heck did you get 17 cents?? ahahahah
btw, that is a very amazing, wow'ing, and breathtaking comment. thank you! :)

eagle

I love the first picture of the mother and child and the constellations in Native American art. Very creative. BTW, I notice you use the term First Nations to refer to your cultural heritage. Is that preferred now ... or your preference ... or what? (I want to be sure I get it right. Your people still aren't being treated with the respect you deserve. Not by a country mile.)

The-STEEM-Engine

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hello there, thank you so much for asking! the best i could find was this explanation and it can seem somewhat technical but this is the explanation.

https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/indigenous-peoples-terminology-guidelines-for-usage

much love,
Eagle

Love it! You've taken some wonderful pictures and it's great to see the Thunderbirds (and you) keeping your culture alive.

I agree: the stories are a great way for us to reflect on important things.

Thanks for sharing this <3

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oh thank you so much my anj! i am so appreciative of your support and kindness. love, eagle

Just beautiful. The people, the culture, your post... just beautiful! We could learn a lot, I think, by just listening to their stories. Also I heard something interesting on the video you included: their creation-story begins with water..? Did I get that right? I only ask because South-American Indians also share this: all their versions of Genesis also starts with only water in the beginning....

Very nice post @eaglespirit! Thanks! :-)

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you are so very kind, and i love your comment very much! yes you got it right:)
i am unsure as to whether every performance is created with water at its beginning, it changes ... :)

hugs,
eagle

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thank you so very much TSE! hugs and love to ya

I'm a big fan of traditional cultures especially the dances and the musics. This is beautiful and awesome! Thanks for sharing @eaglespirit

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i am so glad you love them, i do to! :)
so very appreciative of your kind support. hugs, eagle

Sounds like a good interactive dance shows! The eagle dance is magnificent, just like you eagle!!! Hopi-Chief carries a very authoritative aura. I enjoyed your post @eaglespirit!

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happy! i've missed you!! thank you for stopping by and lending your kind support. hugs, eagle

Thank you for your continued support of SteemSilverGold

I personally love listening to stories! Somehow when someone tells you a story, it is more interactive and it is hard to miss the exciting parts because you don't have to imagine. You feel it in the expression, tone and body languages of the person telling it! Thanks for sharing!

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oh i am so happy you were able to read this and comment. i appreciate your kind support. hugs, eagle

Nice, I love the outfits! This was a well written article with amazing pictures!
Keep it up @eaglespirit!

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oh i am so happy you think so!! thank you so very much. xoxo

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I loved the wings on the dancers, are those dancers thunderbirds or eagles???

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hiya! i love the wings and bustle too. they are called thunderbird dancers and some say the two as synonyms but they are different. this is the eagle dance not thunderbird. :) great question!

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Interesting, I love eagles and thunderbirds! =)

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thanks!!! the thunderbird is mostly considered a "mythical" but spiritual animal. unseen sort of thing. special powers.

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Thanks for the information @eaglespirit, I like them... =) I am going to read up on them... Makes me think of those gigant eagles in "Lord of the Rings", nice friends to have when you need to get out of Dodge... =)

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yeah those eagles in lord of the rings was pretty good! on the dodge is a great thing! :)

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such a wonderful.truley it's very good.thanks for sharing.keep it up.hope everyone read and see this.go on

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you are so kind, thank you so much for your lovely response.

Really cool, lots of knowledge to be gained from ancient cultures. Thanks for sharing :)

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you are too kind my SWP!! xoxo