Traditional Kwakwaka’wakw White Cotton Robes

Here are two examples of Kwakwaka’wakw cotton robes.  The students at Eric Hamber Secondary School are making their own to wear on National Aboriginal Day.

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Chief Charles Nowell in 1905

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A hand woven shawl.

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Songs For Reconciliation At Eric Hamber Secondary School

Since March, William has been working with 2 classes of grade 11-12 First Nations Studies students and their teacher, Stacey McEachern, at Eric Hamber Secondary School.

Together they have been learning and singing the 10 songs as well as making traditional regalia to be worn at the Songs For Reconciliation community performance at Trout Lake on National Aboriginal Day.

It is a pleasure to visit these bright young people and sing and learn with them.

 

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Hands At Work

Sewing together or alone is healthy for the soul. Here are some participants at Hillcrest working on the button blankets.

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Sisiyutł Double-Headed Serpent Song

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This supernatural being appears in our territories, there are other tribes up and down the coast that have the same being in their culture. It represents the choices that we have in life, there is always the balance between good and bad, ultimately it is up to us what paths we choose to follow. If we make bad choices we will suffer, if we make good choices we will be rewarded.

The human face in the center represents all people, the two serpents represent the choices we have in life, each snake is designed differently to represent good and bad. The Sisiyutł to our people is the spirit helper or the protector of warriors and medicine people. Our people were very careful when they encountered the double- headed serpent. In order to survive the experience they backed away slowly not taking their eyes off of it, if they became spiritually weak or afraid and took their eyes from it, it could be lethal.   People could be killed in horrific ways, by being turned to stone or having their spine twist and snap.

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To learn the stories behind all of the songs please click here https://songsforreconciliation.wordpress.com/about-the-songs/

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Thunderbird Song

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The Thunderbird to our people represents the ruler and the protector of the heavens and the controller of the weather. When a thunderbird flaps its wings the thunder rolls, when it blinks its eyes the lightning strikes, if it ruffles its feathers its dandruff is the hail, and eagles are said to be the lice of the thunderbird.

In many of our legends, thunderbirds are sent down by the Creator to assist and protect humankind. Often there were people in the beginning of our history who felt alone and very vulnerable, through their prayers and wishes, the Creator would send thunderbirds down to answer their call.

In most legends, thunderbirds have the ability to transform into human, and often help other first ancestors build their first shelter and become brothers and sisters to each other.

The teachings of thunderbird are about family unity, brotherhood and sisterhood, connection to the Creator, and the answer to the wishes and prayers of humans.

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To learn the stories behind all of the songs please click here https://songsforreconciliation.wordpress.com/about-the-songs/

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Many Hands Make Light Work!

Many Hands Make Light Work!

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Button Blankets at UBC Learning Exchange Coming Along Well

We had a great session yesterday at UBC Learning Exchange.

The group’s singing sounded great and we breezed through the 10 songs.

The button blankets are progressing well also, here are some photos of Theresa and William planning the final steps of her blanket.

She has a tree design, which she’ll then add buttons to.

 

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