Monday, July 21, 2008

Dynamic Dance

Chants and drumming filled the air with haunting melodies as the New Dawn Native Dancers created a glorious spectacle of color, movement and enthusiasm. Though only three years old, Quentin Stout, of the Chickasaw and Otoe tribes, performed in the troupe of children, age 3 to 18, as if he'd danced since birth. His nine-year-old brother, Steven Stout, Jr., demonstrated grace and dignity with every step.

The group was only one of many that perform during the Indian Art Market held at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, each fall. The market brings together hundreds of American Indian/Alaska Native artists who sell exquisite sterling jewelry, one-of-a-kind drums, paintings, and kachinas for two days, on the college campus. Thousands of visitors also enjoy enormous Indian tacos, freshly squeezed lemonade and other treats.

But it is in the arena where Native American participants give visitors a glimpse of their lives through dance, storytelling, and silversmithing and pottery demonstrations. The modern world recedes within moments, as history repeats itself through dedicated performance.

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