Friday, October 26, 2007

Native American dancers, musicians perform for U.P. youth in Rozsa

Dallin Maybee, right, a Northern Arapaho and Seneca, raised on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Western New York, introduces Lowery Begay, a Navajo from New Mexico and Arizona, to an audience of mostly Upper Peninsula schoolchildren during the Native American Speakers' Forum in the Rozsa Center Oct. 26. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)

HOUGHTON -- Young people of all ages from area schools enjoyed a taste of Native American culture at the Oct. 26 Speakers' Forum sponsored by the Michigan Tech American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter. Several bus loads of students from Houghton, Baraga, Chassell, L'Anse, Watersmeet and Marquette schools filled the Rozsa Center for several hours of Native American music, dance and inspirational talks.

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Accompanied by the haunting flute of recording artist Mark Thunderwolf, who is a Native American of Lakota and Eastern Band Cherokee Wolf Clan descent, Dallin Maybee performs traditional dance. (Video clip © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)

A highlight of the morning was the talk and flute playing by Mark Thunderwolf, a Native American flutist and recording artist of Lakota and Eastern Band Cherokee Wolf Clan descent. Thunderwolf spoke of the importance of Nature in his music.

"I get a lot of inspiration from ... the eagles, the wolves ... the water over bubbling brooks," Thunderwolf said.

He challenged the young people in the audience to change conditions in the world, such as war and global warming, that could deprive them of wildlife and the beauties of nature.

"Wind through the Eagle's Wings," one of several haunting tunes he played, was dedicated to his father.

"When you listen, I want you to be with the eagle," he said.

The eagle, an important bird in Native American traditions, also came alive for the audience in the eagle dance performed by Lowery Begay, who grew up on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico and Arizona.

Lowery Begay imitates head movements of the eagle as he begins his eagle dance during the Oct. 26 Native American Speakers' Forum in the Rozsa Center. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)

"We're the only ones in the United States allowed to carry the eagle feather," Begay said.

Hoop dancer Dallin Maybee, Northern Arapaho and Seneca, introduced Begay's eagle dance, noting that Native Americans often mimic animals in their songs and dances.

"Why?" he asked. "It's not just a man mimicking an eagle. It's about a man bringing out the best in himself."

Lowery Begay mimics the eagle taking flight in his dance performance during the Oct. 26 Speakers' Forum in the Rozsa Center. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)

Maybee spoke of being raised on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Western New York, where he had the advantage of learning about his culture from his grandparents.

"I was blessed to have grown up on a reservation," he said.

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Hoop dancers Lowery Begay and Dallin Maybee perform together to the accompaniment of the Four Thunders Drum, at left. (Video clip © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Maybee recounted his challenges in growing up, dealing with school, taking up hoop dancing and presently studying in law school in order to be able to give something back to his community. He said picking up one hoop at a time in his dance is similar to making one choice at a time in life.

"Everything starts with a choice -- education, success," Maybee said. "I start with one hoop, and I choose to add more hoops (making little choices)."

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Dallin Maybee performs a hoop dance. He says the hoops, which he picks up one at a time, represent choices in life. (Video clip © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Begay added, "You gotta work like a hoop dancer ... pick up the pieces one at a time."

Lowery Begay performs a hoop dance with 15 hoops. The Four Thunders Drum accompanies, at left. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)

The two dancers also involved the audience with a humorous session on sign language. They made signs representing certain animals and phrases, and members of the audience had to identify them.

Lowery Begay challenges the audience to interpret his sign language. The answer: "a stomach ache." (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)

Begay and Maybee have worked together in a theater group, Spirit the 7 Fire.

Lori Muhlig, MTU's Native American Outreach Coordinator, who works for the Educational Opportunity department, said the Speakers' Forum attracted about 650 school children to the Rozsa.

"We also went to schools in L'Anse and Baraga and presented to their whole middle school, so we made contact with at least 1000 children,"
Muhlig said. "I couldn't do it all, though, without the help of my AISES students (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)."

Editor's Note: The Spirit of the Harvest Powwow, to be held beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, in Michigan Tech's Gates Tennis Center, will also include Native American music and dance. See the schedule of events. The Gates Tennis Center is #50 on the Campus Map.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spirit of Harvest Powwow to be Oct. 27 at Gates Tennis Center

Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in their colorful regalia participate in the 2007 Parade of Nations. KBIC is one of the sponsors of the Spirit of the Harvest Powwow, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, at MTU's Gates Tennis Center. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo by Michele Anderson)

HOUGHTON -- The Spirit of the Harvest Powwow will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Gates Tennis Center on the Michigan Tech campus. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

Experience Native American culture by witnessing a magnificent display of dance, drum and cultural booths. Grand entries will be at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., a special presentation of the eagle dance at 3 p.m., the hoop dance exhibition at 4 p.m. and the pink shawl presentation at 7:30 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Michigan Tech Educational Opportunity, Undergraduate Student Government, the Chrysler Foundation, Michigan Tech American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

For more information call Lori Muhlig at 487-3692 or email muhlig@mtu.edu.

Editor's Note: See the schedule of events. The Gates Tennis Center is #50 on the Campus Map.

MTU American Indian Science and Engineering Society to hold Speakers' Forum Oct. 26 at Rozsa Center

Students from the Michigan Tech American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) march in the Parade of Nations on Sept. 15, 2007. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo by Michele Anderson)

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Tech American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) chapter presents their speakers' forum from 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Rozsa Center. The forum is free and open to the public.

Undergraduate research presentations begin at 9:30 a.m. They are based on the results of the Michigan College University Partnership Program, a seven-week, summer undergraduate research experience through Michigan Tech that brings students to campus.

Mark Thunderwolf, who will speak at 10 a.m., is a Native American flutist and recording artist of Lakota and Eastern Band Cherokee Wolf Clan descent.*

Debra Eberhardy will speak on integration versus separation at 10:30 a.m. Her talk will be followed by Michigan Tech Admissions at 11 a.m. and undergraduate student and AISES chapter President Jessica Koski (Social Sciences), who will speak at 11:30 a.m.

At 1 p.m. Lowery Begay will speak. He grew up on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico and Arizona and spent much of his time with his grandparents learning the Navajo ways. Begay is an accomplished flutist, artist, fancy dancer and hoop dancer. He is currently ranked fourth in the world as a hoop dancer.

Hoop dancer Dallin Maybee will perform at 1:30 p.m. Maybee, who is Northern Arapaho and Seneca, was raised on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Western New York. Read about his extensive travels and performances around the world and see a photo of him on the Spirit Seventh Fire Web site.

* Read more about Mark Thunderwolf and his wolf sanctuary and see photos on his Web site.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Peter Pan" comes to Rozsa Oct. 27 (Updated)

Editor's Note: We regret to say that as of Thursday morning, Oct. 25, Peter Pan is sold out. According to the Rozsa Center, there is a waiting list. Call the Box Office at 487-3200.

HOUGHTON -- Don’t miss a beat of this fun-filled musical adventure, complete with lost boys, high-stepping pirates, the delightfully dangerous Captain Hook and the perennial charm of the boy who won’t grow up -- Peter Pan! It begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Rozsa Center on the Michigan Tech campus.

The classic tale of youth, joy and freedom is all captured in a lavish new production of this Tony-Award winning Broadway musical. Fly with Peter to the "second star to the right" and join the zany antics and the wistful wonderment of Neverland. It's a musical for the entire family!

Tickets are available from the Rozsa Center Box Office (487-3200, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and from noon on the day of performance) or online at www.tickets.mtu.edu.

Out of respect for performers and other audience members, there is no late seating at Rozsa Center events. Doors will be closed and each performance will begin at its scheduled time. The doors to the performance hall open half an hour before each event. Please help pass the word about this policy to your friends, family and co-workers. If purchasing tickets at the door, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin. If you're an MTU student, please have your student ID with you.

Peter Pan is made possible by a generous sponsorship from the James and Margaret Black Endowment. For more information, please call the Rozsa Center at 906-487-2844.