This weekend I attended a Native American music festival, taking in the beauty and majesty of the culture…. as well as enjoying great food.
Throughout the day exceptionally talented flutists performed, some bringing a dozen or more different instruments on stage during their session. The songs were moving and achingly beautiful.
Each performer would also offer stories about their music, either telling folktales about the first flutes, or about what the songs were saying. A few of the performers also sang in their native language… it was amazing.
Seems that I can’t find enough superlatives to describe the event, but suffice to say I stayed the whole day.
And the dancers, in full regalia… I was literally on the edge of my chair watching.
One of the dancers explained that their regalia was like a family photo album. With different pieces handed down through generations or given as gifts from friends. He said that the dances also told a story.
The Hoop Dance, performed by two different dancers, using anywhere from one to 24 hoops, showed the connection between every one and every thing. We all play an integral part in this world, he said, and we have to work together to conquer hate.
Wearing a long skirt, adorned with 365 sliver cones, the Jingle Dancer performed a healing dance. Her movements adding a soft chiming sound to the music.
Traditional men and women’s dance were also performed, both somber and exciting to watch.
If you ever have a chance to attend such a festival, go! The dancers and musicians love sharing their talents and culture, and you will be richer for it.
You can click on any image to see a larger photo, or the series as a slideshow.
(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, Nikon CoolPix S205 and/or iPhone4)
For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream.