Program 102: The Circle

Audio and Transcripts

Monacan Village. Photo by Rose High Bear

Monacan Village. Photo by Rose High Bear

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts shares the historical background of the Monacan nation, a state-recognized tribe in Virginia. Stories from the tribe’s chief, historian and two elders include the 1608 encounter with Captain John Smith as well as their recent recovery of spiritual and cultural identity and a “sense of story.”*

Artist’s Spotlight: Oneida singer and composer, Joanne Shenandoah presents a Haudenosaunee round dance composition called “Unity” with Lawrence Laughing from Silver Wave Records.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton teaches that living life following the four seasons is one of the first steps to creating good health and well-being. She offers a recipe for a “spring detox” and other information on the blessings of the springtime season.

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind tells about and shares a variety of round dance songs, sometimes called the friendship dance or circle dance which is found almost universally among today’s tribes. She describes the how dance step is performed and shares differences between the Southern and Northern rhythm styles.

Taheebvu Chadi:
Judy Trejo sings and tells the origins of Paiute and Shoshone women’s work songs which also doubled as lullabies. She discusses how the women would go about their duties with their babies in cradle board strapped on their back and how everything they did was done with rhythm, “whether they be scraping deer hides antelope hides, or if they sat or kneeling on the ground and grinding meal from dried roots or seeds that we would gather.”

Turtle Island Storytellers:
Deg Hit’an (Alaskan Athabascan) Rose High Bear tells the story of Gramma Sophie and her early twentieth century life along the Yukon and Kuskoquim Rivers of Alaska. Part of a traditional Athabascan Raven story is included within the story. “…Now inside her enit sits Raven in the form of a woman and she begins to think, that Raven…”

Host Arlie Neskahi builds upon the theme of the circle throughout the program opening with “In our ancient traditions, nature is a circle. And all things strive for the harmony of roundness. In the old days, all power came from the sacred hoop of our nation. So long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished.”

* It was upon Monacan ancestral land where Thomas Jefferson established his home, Monticello, the site of the 2003 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Kick-Off. Between 2004-2006, Wisdom of the Elders will feature a series of radio programs focusing upon the history, culture and arts of native nations along the original expedition trail. The planned series will be announced on this program.

Audio and Transcripts