Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dzunuk'wa, Dzunuk'wa, Dzunuk'wa

Look at this Wild Woman of the Woods. She is strong enough to rip a tree out of the ground. She carries a basket on her back, to put bad children into. She wanders the woods like sasquatch. The Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka'wakw)were vibrant storytellers, and hosts of amazing feasts. One of their sayings sums up the spirit of day for which the Feast Bowl would have been used:
"When one's heart is glad, he gives away gifts. Our Creator gave it to us, to be our way of doing things, to be our way of rejoicing, we who are Indian. The potlatch was given to us to be our way of expressing joy."

The potlatch was a time to feed, and also give presents, to your guests. To wear your best clothing, Chilkat robes, to sing and drum and wear the masks. To show your neighbors and those whose totem differ from yours, that you have had good fortune. What a way to share good fortune, and to ensure good fortune to come.

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