Monday, October 13, 2014

Many Ways to Tell a Story

Today South Dakota celebrates Native American Day, as it has since 1990. Communities across the state commemorate this day in different ways, including with storytelling.

I was privileged recently to hear and see Lakota Kevin Locke , who told stories orally, with his flute,

and with his hoop dancing. In each case, he talked about all people being one and challenged each of us to be a bridge of understanding from one person to another. With 28 hoops, he created an eagle, a globe, a flower, a ladder, and a whirl of color!

He demonstrated his message of the importance of each individual by removing a hoop from one of his formations. The formation collapsed. 

This kind of storytelling--hoop dancing--takes a lot of energy! Kevin does it with such joy and grace, it is a pleasure to watch.  See him in this performance from last year:

What other kinds of storytelling have you experienced? Which ones are most meaningful to you?

(photos copyright 2014, Jane Heitman Healy)


  1. The last time I took my granddaughter to our Museum of Nature and Science, there was a special Native American group dancing. We loved seeing it, and it was Ingrid's first introduction to this special kind of music and dancing. Thanks for sharing this Jane, it's beautiful. Hard to believe anyone can do this! The energy and creativity are amazing. I've had my students find stories to tell, & bring them on our overnight trips so that we can share each evening-a wonderful thing to do together.

    1. Yes, Linda. Stories in all forms are for sharing! Thanks for your comments.

  2. That is really interesting, Jane. I guess indians would promote teamwork, it does make things easier.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Catherine. This is really more than teamwork, it's living in harmony with all people and the earth--something I think we should all aspire to.