Native American Heritage Month
by Christine Cawthon '91
In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, our students enjoyed an interactive dance presentation by Red Boy Productions, a family dance group that shares traditions through song, storytelling, and dance.
Through four narrated dances, the children learned what made each unique and were introduced to a variety of regalia and sounds. As an example, they learned that the drum represented the heartbeat of Mother Earth. The underlying message was to teach the children: “That’s different and I can understand.”
The first, from the Sioux Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota, danced in a stationary style, showing the first style women were able to perform. Dance and regalia evolved as the second dancer from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, performed in a handmade Jingle Dress, which created a beautiful tinkling sound to complement the dance. The next dancer, from the Tohono Oʼodham Nation of Arizona, displayed handmade regalia of beads, feathers, and moccasins. The final dancer was a Junior World Hoop Dancing Champion, who performed in a way to create images and excitement with the use of up to seven hoops.
This interactive performance engaged the students, four of whom were able to stand up front and perform their versions of the dances they witnessed, competing for the accolades of their fellow students and performers. In true Harbor Day style, this production received a “Standing O” from the students.