Singing the Birds…Cahuilla Festival

“Bird Songs have been a part of Cahuilla and other Southern California Native cultures for thousands of years, and the migrations of these songs as they were shared over time have created a long history of cultural connectedness between tribes across the region. These songs have also become a linkage between generations, and are at the heart of a growing movement to sustain language and cultural practice.”  A. Chacon, NativeImages

Elder tribes women tell stories through bird singing and dancing. Photo- kumeyaay

Elder tribes women tell stories through bird singing and dancing. Photo- kumeyaay

Excerpt: Bird Song, Aqua Caliente Cultural Museum

“…Through the ages, bird singing and dancing have been an important part of Native culture for tribes in southern California and other regions of the Southwest. Birds inspired the Cahuilla people to migrate after the death of their creator, Mukat.

They saw birds come and go throughout the seasons, and thought they must be going somewhere better. The people followed the birds but lost their way, not knowing where to find water or food. They were caught in snow storms and many people died before they made their way back home. Bird songs are social songs that tell stories about the lessons learned during this migration.

Rattles used by Bird Singers.

Rattles used by Bird Singers.

A completely oral tradition, they were sung in a precise order that accurately accounted for the chronology of the migration, and depended on their transference from teacher to student. Men and women both participate–singing and dancing while accompanied by the metered beat of rattles.”

Dance Project: “We Are Birds is a documentary film project that focuses on this movement as experienced by a variety of Elders, Bird Singers and Dancers, and other Cultural Preservationists. Their stories delve into the heart of what bird singing is, how it has changed, and why it is important that Bird Lives On.”

We Are Birds Documentary Project

We Are Birds Documentary Project.

Click here for Vimeo:  We Are Birds Documentary Project-Albert Chacon, NativeImages Production Group

Wado to R. Deck and L.J. Vargas for the  sweet reminders that Mother Earth Smiles on us…

Beautiful Flowers sent in by R. Deck

Beauty R. Deck and A. Vargas 2016

Have a Safe and Happy Easter!

Category: Culture