Lummi Nation Blackhawk Dancers promote community interaction
The Lummi Nation’s Blackhawk Dancers perform tribal dance and sing at cultural festivals and community celebrations dedicating a new totem poles, storyboards.
Among the all the many forms of art that have been inspired by the Native American people, dance is, perhaps, one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring of them all. To the average visitor or non-native person, Native American dances may seem like simple steps, hops, and jumps, that essentially keep rhythm with the beat of the drum. But in reality, these dances are so much more than that. Dance is a way of expression, a language in itself. They tell stories, and they are used as a medium for prayer and each dance has its own significant meaning in Native American culture.
Historically, dancing was a way to promote community interaction. Round dances were a way of introducing guests, tribes, and clans. Other types of dances were done to celebrate events such as harvest or seasonal changes, marriages, and inter-tribal meetings. Celebrations and gatherings would last for days, with dance, feasts and storytelling.
The Lummi people share their language, songs, and dances.
“Haytaluk understood the power of story and performance. So in the early 1900s he created a dance and storytelling group that took performances on the road. This enabled them to share their language, songs, and dances with the newcomers. He named it “The Children of the Setting Sun.” Their stories and dances reached people all through the Northwest. It was a positive way to remind them who the Lummi people were and what they stood for: to invite unity.”
– Darrell Hillaire shares of Haytaluk, Lummi Nation ancestor