Teaching the children

Continuing from the previous post 🙂

After opening speeches and me doing the Noon Day Prayers and smudging, it was time for some teachings.

There were several school classes of kids from age 6 to 12 there to learn about First Nations culture. There also were quite a number of adults there and lucky for me several First Nations People also joined the circle.

I Had set up a small teachingdisplay and we discussed the meanings of Eagle, Wolf, Buffalo and Bear,  the Guardians of the 4 directions for the Anishinaabe People and the kids got a chance to handle an Eagle feather, a Buffalo horn, a Wolf ‘s tail and the Bear skull.

Then, on we went to the culture of the Haudenosaunee Longhouse and where the differences are.

Deer antlers, and other items were inspected and questions answered. We talked about how the Anishinaabe smudge and why the Mohawk People do not, but rather use Tobacco Prayers and how to conduct oneself when such an opportunity arises.

I also addressed some more problematic areas like why the white settlers tried to kill all the Wolves in the area while the First Nations watched in horror. Wolf is seen as an important teacher of family values, endurance and survival skills apart from being a mayor Clan Guardian for all First Nations.

There would be much to tell, but I also wanted to mention, that whenever a First Nations person is in the circle, I always give them the word to chime in and contribute or share personal experiences or give teachings.


2 hours of teachings go by very fast and then it was time for drumming!

They had all waited for that! We had to take turns to give all the kids a chance to play either the big Pow Wow drum or one of the frame drums I had brought for the occasion.

I explained, that the large drum was a gift from one of my clients and that it represents the voice of the Earth Mother. We played the heart beat and I sang a chant or 2.

Kids always want to speed up the beat and singing is a good trick to slow them down. Some children have lots of trouble keeping the beat or rhythm while others take to it easy and right away.

Some Anishenaabe Women see it as a special privilege to be able to play the big drum, because the men in their communities usually restrict them from even touching a Pow Wow drum. In the last few years there are a few female drum groups but they often experience the full brunt of rejection from their male contemporaries. No such problems exist in the communities of the 6 Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy 🙂

Everyone enjoyed the drumming sessions and at the end all the participants followed me in a traditional Closing Prayer.

Shi’ Meegweetch

Niawe

Shya’-nam

Thank you all


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2 thoughts on “Teaching the children

  1. Would be great as mentioned previously, to hear more about the water drum, and the drums in general. How are they made, are they tune-able ,etc etc… of course only if you feel like it and want to sometime!

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