events and news of the Inali Dancers, an intertribal native dancing, singing, and culture group in western illinois

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I just read this at archaeology magazine. I'll just post and let you read it:

September 11, 2006 - Land containing Catawba Indian villages and burial sites that was donated to the York County Culture & Heritage Museums in South Carolina has been sold to developers, despite archaeologists' pleas to have the land surveyed first. The sales agreement has no provisions to protect archaeological sites, although the Brian Goray, managing partner of Cherokee Investment Partners, says the residential and retail community on the banks of the Catawba River would be enhanced by archaeological digs.

It never stops, and no one seems to care.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Two good performances

We had a couple of good performances in the last week. Last wednesday afternoon some of us went to a day nursing care center in Galesburg and performed for the people there and the staff. These elders were generally much more alert and physically stronger than those at some nursing homes we go to, and many of them really got into it. There were many volunteers there too, and a number of them joined us for several dances, so we really had a lot of energy. Afterward, there were many very good questions. All in all, it was worth taking the day off work.
Saturday we went to Oquaka to perform at a town celebration. They were doing an historical play about Black Hawk and wanted something native as part of the afternoon.
We started late because some kids had their own play they wanted to do. We had some problems with it, because of certain derogatory terms used (see Daryl's Den, I don't want to go into it here), and because all the "indians" in this play and the full length one wore plains headresses and fringed buckskin. Do some research, people!
We had a good turnout of the group, and a really nice sized crowd, most of whom seemed genuinely interested, and really had a great performance. Except the guys gave me a trick song for my straight dance and REALLY got me good! I was very embarressed, I shouldn't fall for that anymore.
We have Mount Pisgah coming up in october, then things slow down for a while, although we may get some things around thanksgiving (I know what people will think, but we like use the chance to tell some of the native side of the story).
See everyone friday at practice.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

good practice, great powwow

We had a good practice friday, tho we started late. We had a lot of energy, and didn't really want to stop.
The powwow at seven circles turned out really great this weekend, at least saturday. The turnout was the best I've seen at a local powwow for a long time, both dancers and spectators. I couldn't believe how big the lineup for grand entry was saturday afternoon, and there were many times all day when the circle was practically full of people dancing. Illinois Wesleyan had a class there, and they were enthusiastic like always, they got out and took part instead of just watching.
One of the highlights was the presence of one of the last of the WWII navaho code talkers. Saturday afternoon he got a handrum out and sang several navaho (Dine) songs, including a navaho two step, and many dancers went out and tried it (the navaho two step is different than what we do).
Saturday night was great again, with many dancers, and a lot of spectators stayed.
I couldn't make it back sunday because of a family commitment, but where I was a cold drizzle came up anyway, so I guess I didn't miss much.
Don't forget the performance at the town park in Oquaka saturday, be there by noon or 12:30, bring regalia!
Also, the scenic drive is coming up in october, we're going to Mt.Pisguah again, we need to work out the details. After that things calm down for awhile.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

a good book

I said I would try to pass some good books and movies along, so here is a really great book.
The name of it is "On The Rez", by Ian Frazier, and it is about life on the Pine Ridge rez. It is really eye opening, and at times can be a little depressing, but sometimes uplifting too. The best part is the many people who manage to maintain their courage, humor, and compassion in truly terrible situations. In the end, the Lakota are shown to be the great people they truly are.
I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Monday, September 11, 2006

support local powwows

A few things to talk about today. We had a fine time at the prison saturday for the mini powwow. Not very many prisoners showed up, but they usually don't in summer, when they all have sports going on. Those that were there were enthusiastic, and we put our drums together, sang a lot of good songs, and had a great time. Thanks to the ladies who came, you made the powwow.
Don't forget the powwow this weekend at seven circles. There are fewer and fewer around the area, we need to support the ones that are still happening. Wildlife prairie park is gone, New Windsor is just hanging on, Leroy was gone,it will apparently be back next year but no guarantee how long, Chilicothee gone, attendence way down at all of them. It is hard work putting these on, and if we want to have local powwows to go to, we have to support the ones left. Let's see everyone out there!
Please put sept. 23 on your calenders. We are performing in Oquaka at 1:00 P.M. This is a full, hour long group performance, so we need everyone there. Call me or Jerry for details.
Practice friday at Ellens, see you there.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

movies, books, and things

I was talking recently to someone, who asked me if I hasd seen the movie Smoke Signals.
I haven't, although I keep meaning to, but I have been thinking about it lately. There are a lot of good movies and books out that have to do with the modern Indian experience, some on the rez, some not. Native culture is a living thing, constantly changing, and this a good way to keep in touch.
Smoke Signals has a really great reputation, and there's another called Powwow Trail that is supposed to be great. I am going to try to find them and talk about them. I'm also going to look for more movies to talk about.
As far as books go, anything by M. Scott Momaday is a good place to start, and there are lot's others, so many that modern native is a seperate category. I think I am going to look for these kind of things and put up posts on them as I find them. If anyone has anything they want to share, put it in a comment.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

fantastic news

Man, we're in the big time now.
First up, we have a great new person for the drum, Chris was raised on the rosebud rez, but his son, Dakota, has never been exposed to native things. Chris is a natural, he's been around it all his life but never really joined in. We plan on making him southern, oklahoma style. Southern singing RULES!
The big news is that we have been asked to be the main drum at the mini powwow in Hamilton next january. I really think we're ready to do this. We know enough songs, we're singing together, we're strong. Plus we got Butch to be our MC.
The thing is, we will be paid very good (I mean really, really good), for this, and we will have to sign a contract.
We have to come through.
This is what real drums do.