Ananda Family News

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cry from the Heart of the First Americans

This week hundreds of people enjoyed the Living Wisdom School's annual theater production, with a Native American theme this year. The play told the story of the great peacemaker Deganawidah and his follower Hiawatha, who together overcame a warring, revengeful culture to bring five tribes together into the Iroquois Confederacy of peace.

All of the school's children, from ages 5 to 14, were part of the play, all with multiple roles. It's always incredible to see how they rise to the occasion with such poise and magnetism well beyond what you'd expect from their years.

In addition to recitations of Native American poetry and proverbs, there was also flute and drum music, with enthusiastic dances by all the children. One dance illustrated the whole harvest cycle, beginning with older children sowing seeds, then being joined by younger children as the growing corn stalks, and even smaller ones as the bees.

Atatarho, the villain of the play, is tormented by demons, and his soul is sick of all the war and hatred between the tribes. In the end, Hiawatha, a great medicine man, is able to heal him and include him in the confederacy.

For more photos of the beautiful event, costumes and children, please watch the excellent slideshow Heather put together for us:

Update: In the humanitarian spirit of the great historical and spiritual figures that LWS honors every year in its plays, the school decided to donate a portion of its proceeds to a Japan relief fund. Between this and additional donations from the audience members, they sent about $1,000 to Japan. Thank you all!

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