Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Most Amazing Fieldtrip

Yes, I'm going to bore you all greatly with the tale of today's fieldtrip that I chaperoned. My youngest son's class went to see an outdoor cultural event with four shows. We got to see 3 of them, due to timing. I'm going to now tell you about the one that involved the Native Americans.

This show had four people, Native Americans all: 3 from Mexico and one man whom I'll refer to as "The Announcer", who's Cree, raised by the Lakota (Sioux). The 3 from Mexico were of Aztec descent, and wore traditional dancing garb-- that they had made for themselves. Oh, my, I can't even describe how beautiful these costumes where. The head-dresses were fantastic, and could weigh, we were told, up to 12 pounds. I've never seen such tall feathers in my entire lifetime.

So, after the 3 performed a welcoming dance for us, The Announcer asked all the "elders" (um, gee, while I understand his meaning, I'm not too sure I really liked being called an "elder"-- but that's just me! LOL!) to stand up, which we did, all of us mystified.

Then, we were invited to come down to the performance area, and form a big circle and dance. Okay, ya'll need to know I'm hobbling about on a sprained ankle, and THAT did NOTHING to deter me from going down to dance. Really, how often do you have this kind of chance? I'm happy to put up with the twinges and complaints my ankle's been making ever since. (No lectures on how I coulda made my sprain worse-- I've got my fingers in my ears, and I'm singing "la la la" so I can't hear you.)...Okay, so it's a REALLY big circle. We're told to hold hands, and introduce ourselves to the owner of the hands we're holding. The lady dancer gets at the head of the line to lead us. The Announcer tells us we're to keep going until the drumming stops. When it stops, we're to race to the 8 hoops on the ground, to get inside them. So off we go, all of us feeling a tad ridiculous, but oh! What a fun ridiculous. The drumming stops, and I find myself vying for 1 hoop with like 5 others. I'm the only one with BOTH feet in the hoop, so they all declare me the winner of that hoop, and race back to their seats.

I'm thrilled. See, the winner of the competition would have an "Indian" name bestowed upon them, based on how they danced. Now there's 8 of us, and 4 hoops. The drumming starts, we've been told the perimeters of this round. Again, I win 1 of the hoops.

It's down to 4 people, and 1 hoop. The Announcer instructs us that we are to dance so that he can decide what our name would be. (Names are earned through dancing). We are to dance to show him how we arrived at the event. My first thought is, "How do I dance like a BUS?" Then I decide I'm going to dance like a bat, flapping my arms, swooping, circling, and pretty much getting myself good and dizzy.

A few moments into this round, I've lost my sense of self-consciousness... I'm dancing, I'm a bat and there's nothing in the world but the sky, the ground, the air and the dance. The drum stops. I'm very dizzy. Alas, I didn't make it to the hoop first, but 3rd, so I didn't get a name, but, it was a remarkable experience, and my sprained ankle, sunburned-around-the-collar skin and I wouldn't trade one single solitary moment of it.


Babe King said...

lol- sounds like you had fun, red feathered, hopping mama. :-)

Robin Bayne said...


Henri de Montmorency said...

That reminds me. I'm late for a date with Pocahontas! Cie la vie!