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July 11, 2011

Gitksan Teachings with the Dancers of Damelahamid

The ArtStarts Gallery enjoyed a full day of song and dance when the Dancers of Damelahamid joined us at our monthly performance workshop series. Dressed in their distinctive red and black button blankets and intricately carved and painted masks, they shared stories of their ancestral origins and ancient stories with the lucky group that had gathered that day.

Wearing the handsome beaver head piece, The Beaver Song reminds us to learn about the past so we can pass those teachings on to the future. With bright green antennaes buzzing, The Grasshopper Song reminded us of the need to maintain a sense of balance in nature, once again thinking of the future generations.

Everyone had a chance to get up on their feet to take part in the singing and dancing too, forming a circle and moving around the room paying respect to the four corners of the planet. We also learned the Gitksan version of the well-known children's song, Head and Shoulders or T'im Ges Ganhl No'ohl. It goes:

T'im ges, ganhl no'ohl k'es ii se', k'es ii se', k'es ii se'
T'im ges, ganhl no'ohl k'es ii se'
'Ni'it tunn, kap, kap ii'ya

A big thank you to the Dancers of Damelahamid for sharing their beautiful and meaningful culture with us, as well as everyone who joined us at ArtStarts to share in the learning.

ArtStarts on Saturdays takes place on the last Saturday of every month — check out past workshops here. We'll be taking a break in the summer, but will be back with a bang in the Fall. Stay tuned to find out what's in store...

ArtStarts thanks Boeing for their generous support of the ArtStarts on Saturdays series.

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