Drum Dance

25 May

The Deh Cho Spring Leadership meeting is taking place at the community hall in Fort Liard right now.  Since the community hall is right across the street from my house (I can see it out of my window as I write) I can see how jam-packed the parking lot is, with leaders from all over the region.

As is usual with meeting like this, drummers were invited to the community so that a drum-dance could be held.  There were more than 12 drummers last night at the arbour, more drummers than I have ever seen here before.  (They were all men, as in Dene culture only men are allowed to drum.)  The arbour is an open-air circular building with riser seats around it, a small stage on one side, and a fire pit in the middle.  First, the drummers all heat their drums over the fire to tighten them up.  Then they stand along the edge of the circle for the actual drumming.  Drum dances always start off with a prayer song, and last night they had an elder lead it.  After the prayer song, they start with the dancing songs.  The dancers go clockwise around the fire, turning to face the drummers as they dance by them.  Everyone’s welcome to participate in the dancing, and everyone should!

The dancing was fantastic!  Our friend Shannon, who is visiting from Ottawa for 3 weeks, really enjoyed herself; she went out and danced a few times (with no cajoling from me) and mingled with everyone.  I’m so glad she got to see one during her time here – they’re the best times here in Fort Liard!


One Response to “Drum Dance”

  1. Nemmy May 25, 2005 at 2:54 pm #

    Other best times are community feasts… Mmm… Buffalo on a campfire. That\’ll learn \’em to eat daffodils.Miss ya, sis!

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