A Taste of Native American Culture
Friday, 28 June 2013
As one of their Learning Challenges, Year 6 pupils at Hesketh House are studying the origin and history of the Native American culture including aspects of their art. As part of their study, girls had the privilege of engaging in a workshop with Native American Indian, Nuquangdala, which means ‘Morning Redness’.
Nuquangdala’s father is Native American and her mother German. She explained to the girls that the general idea of Native Americans (feathers and war paint) was correct about 200 years ago, but in today’s world, Native Americans dress just like everybody else. Nuquangdala is proud of her heritage and told the girls how she tries to keep her tribe’s culture (Hopi Tribe) alive by participating in special events called powwows, where Native Americans can pray, dance, sing and eat. When dancing at the powwows, Nuquangdala wears a traditional tribal outfit and dances to the beat of a drum. The drum is said to be the heartbeat of the Native American nation. She also gave the girls information about how many Native Americans are left in the U.S.A. today - 2.9 million full blood Native Americans - and taught them how to pronounce some words from her tribal language, for example, ‘askwali’ means thank you and ‘um hinstaki’ means how are you?
Pupils Hannah Rayner and Lauren Whitaker said: “We were treated to dancing and we had to stay in a ring formation whilst following steps – not as easy as you imagine. The most delicious aspect of our workshop was sampling Nuquangdala’s freshly baked corn bread. Mmmmm! She told us how corn could come in lots of different colours and the bread we sampled had a distinctive corn taste. Finally, in true traditional Native American, on behalf of Year 6 we would like to say, ASKWALI NUQUANGDALA!”
Year 6 now continue in Learning Challenges to read and interpret Native American stories.