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by Kari Webster, NCC Activity Aide

For our community outing, myself and a client ventured out to Nankin Mills Park in Westland to enjoy the 9th Annual Native American Heritage Day Fest brought to the community by The North American Indian Association of Detroit. This event brought much of the surrounding communities together for a day of fun, which included performances of many dances, such as, The Grass Dance, The Round Dance, The Blanket Dance and also the Butterfly Dance, which happened to be my favorite; a social dance meant to mimic the crow as he bounces around the field. One legend states that the crow brought the fire to our land to keep our ancestors alive through the cold winter. Dancers imitate bird-like movements, hopping side to side, first on one foot and then on the other, also known as the crow hop. The dancers wore their beautiful and brilliant colors of traditional regalia and ceremonial attire of the Oneida and Ojibwa people.

I would have to say the client especially seemed to enjoy the steady, calming and inviting beat of the drum which is one of the main foundations of Native American music. The drums act as the base of the beat to maintain the pace or speed of their performance, they bring to life a positive energy to any area, there is almost something magical as you sit and listen to the steady rhythmic sound.

If you would like to learn more about the Native American Dance, follow this website:  http://www/ani-kutani.com/NativeAmericanFacts