Tuesday, December 27, 2005

And now for something completely different...

Something we'd heard about off and on over the last few years was the Miccosukee Indian Art Festival. Looking through the newspaper this week, I saw that the festival started right after Christmas, so the family gathered together in the van and headed out to it. The tribe is located in the Everglades, which was also a setting that we hadn't been to for quite some time.

The Miccosukee tribe flag against a beautiful, cloudless sky.

The entrance to the village/gift shop.

One of the 2005 World Champion Native American dancers. Part of a show of, you guessed it, top dancers. He danced to live music provided by three other Indians who were beating a drum and chanting off to the side. Really a neat experience.

Another World Champion

A world champion hoop dancer. Really acrobatic; it's amazing to see what they can do with the hoops...they can make them look like wings (to mimic a bird in the sky or even a butterfly), an egg hatching, etc. It really tells a great story!

Another one of their very colorful dancers...

And another one...

Me, bringing less color (and poignancy) to the table...

Alligators!

Some of the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina...

An alligator 'wrestler' (a misnomer, as the Indians didn't wrestle with alligators, but rather were trying to keep them still as they brought them home for dinner) puts his hand inside an alligator's mouth. Their mouths are 'wired' such that anything that touches the inside of their mouth will make them bite down...the slightest pressure. This was demonstrated a few times...and each time, he missed the guy's hand. Phew.

A move they have nicknamed the 'close shave'...probably for some obvious reasons...

And afterwards, you can touch a baby gator...

Another dancer/show host from the Canadian Kehewin Native Performers.

Once of the 'grass dancers'. These dancers would do a dance over an area before the tribe would make a village or stop in a particular location.

One of the colorful dancers, whose movements depicted a hunt/battle of the past...

Same dancer as before...

This dance, which the best I recall was the 'healing dress dance'. Attached at the bottom of the dress are bells.

The women's colorful dance. In particular, her cape is meant to be similar to the wings of a butterfly.

All the members of the Canadian tribe singing a song at the end of the show.

Overall, it was a fun day. I tried some Indian Fry Bread (very very unhealthy, but tastes reeeaaaalllll good!), danced on the stage with my youngest one doing an Indian circle & snake dance, and got to learn a lot more about our nearby neighbors. If you're ever in South Florida, it's well worth a visit to get to know more about these wonderful people!

1 comment:

Jerry in JaCoMo said...

Yum! Fry bread is GOOD! My sister in law is indian (Omaha). Her cousin is Rodney Grant who was Wind In His Hair on Dances with Wolves. I've been to Pow Wow with her and he was there (got the picture). The dancing is very cool (yes, they even let us up there!).