Пау-Вау – первоначально этим словом из алгонкинских языков называли религиозное или знахарское собрание или самих шаманов, но позже так стали называть индейский праздник или фольклорный фестиваль с обязательным исполнением песен и танцев. Сейчас пау-вау проводят практически все общины в США и Канаде. Сложился общий для всех индейцев стиль пау-вау, нашедший отражение в церемониях, костюмах, танцах и песнях, конечно с учётом местных традиций, если таковые сохранились – ведь ко времени поселения в резервации многие племена оказались на грани вымирания и практически утратили культурные традиции. Пау-вау является в каждом племени главным праздником, куда съезжаются участники из окрестных резерваций и городов, а иногда и из самых отдалённых мест. Например, на пау-вау в Нью-Йорке можно увидеть ацтеков из Мексики. Пау-вау проводят даже индейцы в Германии, проходящие там военную службу. С 1980 года фестиваль пау-вау стал проводится и в России. На него съезжаются индеанисты со всех уголков страны. В течение нескольких дней они живут по обычаям и обрядам индейцев, обсуждают их проблемы. Эти люди придерживаются идеологии индейцев и в повседневной жизни.
На школьной сцене участники фестиваля, они одеты в традиционные красочные индейские костюмы. У них луки и стрелы, томагавки, копья, стрелы, парфлеши – сумки из кожи в виде конверта, барабаны, бубны, деревянные флейты, свистки из кости и т.п. На заднем фоне силуэт вигвама, культовые фигурки. По ходу действия участники могут исполнить ритуальные танцы. В конце они передают по кругу Трубку мира.
At the Opening Ceremony.
Red Wolf (is holding an eagle feather in his hand):
Today we are getting together to feel ourselves a part of Nature. We’ve invited you to celebrate the 24th anniversary of our movement. There were a lot of problems and suffering but now we are not afraid to say that we are a folk. Let your ears be open to my words. I am speaking sincerely and this feather is proving it. The eagle feather is a symbol of Holy Spirit that knows everything, sees everything and feels our heart’s beating. We’ll pass the feather to each other and holding it we’ll introduce ourselves.
(The members of the festival introduce themselves. Among them: White Nights, Left Arm, Crazy Dog, North Wind, Black Owl, Cold Fire, Fast Stream, etc.)
I’ve been interested in the Indians’ life since my early childhood and read a lot about them. I admire these strong, proud and independent people. I think that other people know very little about the history, the culture, the problems of the Indians. Perhaps the guests of our festival will ask their questions and we would be happy to answer them.
How did the first inhabitants come to the American continent, I wonder?
The first inhabitants, ancestors of the American Indians, probably arrived from Asia at least 12,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age created a land between Alaska and Siberia.
I have never heard about Indians’ life before Columbus’ discovery of the continent.
Before Columbus’ time, Native Americans had domesticated a large number of wild plants, including maize, beans and squash; developed irrigation and terracing techniques; and invented accurate calendars.
Some American Indians had developed thriving civilizations, while others survived in harsh environments as hunter-gatherers. Some Indian nations made war with each other, and warfare, could be brutal. But others coexisted in peace.
As many as one thousand years ago in the Southwest, the Hopi and Zuni Indians of North America were building with adobe – sun-baked brick plastered with mud. Their homes looked remarkably like modern apartment houses. Some were four stories high and contained quarters for perhaps a thousand people, along with storerooms for grain and other goods. These buildings were usually put up against cliffs, both to make construction easier and for defending against enemies. They were really villages in themselves, as later Spanish explorers must have realized since they called them “pueblos”, which is Spanish for town. The people of the pueblos grew what are called “the three sisters” – corn, beans and squash.
They made excellent pottery and wove marvelous baskets, some so fine that they could hold water. The Southwest has always been a dry country, where water is scarce. The Hopi and Zuni brought water from streams to their fields and gardens through irrigated ditches. Water was so important that it played a major role in their religion. They developed elaborating ceremonies and religious rituals to bring rain.
And is there any information about the number of tribes living on the continent before Columbus’ time?
There were a lot of different tribes. We know more than 50 names of them. No one is certain how many people were living on the continent when Columbus landed on an island on the 12th of October 1492. At daybreak, the seamen saw naked people on the beach. Columbus and his captains went ashore in launches, planted the royal banner, claimed the island for the Spanish monarchs, and named it San Salvador – Holy Savior. The island’s inhabitants looked on, uncomprehending.
The explorer, believing he was in the outer reaches of the Indies, called the native Indians. They were tall and handsome, with straight black hair. Some had painted their bare skin with black, white and red pigments. They carried spears tipped with fish teeth, and paddled large dugout canoes. They were friendly and curious about their visitors, who they apparently believed came from the heavens.
Columbus found that the islanders, a people later dubbed Tainos, lived in palm-thatch huts, cultivated strange food plants, wove cotton and made pottery. An instant trade sprang up: red bonnets and small glass beads in exchange for the Indians’ parrots, cotton thread spears. Columbus decided that these intelligent people would be “good servants and of good skill.”
For Columbus the Indians themselves were the “great treasure”. It was a treasure he profited from. He sent hundreds of Taino Indians back to a life of slavery in Spain. Besides, Columbus’ four voyages, ending in 1504, introduced Europe to maize, tobacco, and sweet potatoes.
The Indians had never seen men with swords. Columbus gave them shiny beads and tiny bells. The Indians gave Columbus soft cool cloth and colorful birds. People in Europe didn’t have cotton and parrots. The Indians were wearing gold rings. The Europeans asked them about gold, but they didn’t understand them. Then the Europeans began to explore the other islands too looking for gold.
And what did Europeans bring to the Indians?
Columbus brought horses to the West Indies in 1493 and they became very important to the lifestyle of all Native American tribes on the North American Plains. Besides, the Europeans brought sugar cane to the Carribean where it thrived. They taught the Indians to use guns. The exchange was tragic in unseen way, too. Scholars conclude that syphilis was brought back to Europe from the Carribean. And Europe’s infectious diseases, such as smallpox, measles and tuberculosis, spread among the Indians. Disease, not just guns, helped Cortes conquer the Aztecs in 1521.
At the English lesson our teacher told us about the Pilgrims who came to America from England. Half of them came for religious freedom. All came for new life. But the first winter was so severe that many people died because they were hungry, sick, and cold. The Native Americans, the Indians, helped them to survive. What did they teach the Pilgrims?
They taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and to build houses, to hunt and to fish. The Pilgrims wanted to thank the Indians for their help. In the fall of 1621, when they gathered a rich harvest, they had the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims and the Indians feasted together for three days to celebrate their survival after suffering and a terrible winter. They ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, nuts, cranberries, and a pumpkin pie for dessert.
I think that the Pilgrims’ and the Indians’ children made friends and played together. What games did they play?
Of course, they had a lot of different games. For example, Cup Catch, Turkey Trot. They liked nutty activities: they sorted a variety of unshelled nuts: almonds, walnuts, filberts, pecans, and Brazil nuts by touching or by tasting them. Songs and dances were popular with both Indian and Pilgrim children.
How did they understand each other?
They taught each other their languages. You know that there were more than 50 different Indian languages but all the tribes knew the language of gestures. Looking at the map of the USA you can find a lot of Indian words. Can you show any American states which have Indian names?
Guest 3 (is showing the states on the map):
I think, they are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Michigan etc, all in all there are 24 Indian names of the states.
What problems do the Indians face today?
Since Columbus discovery native populations have been ravaged by disease, alcohol, heightened warfare, calculated acts of genocide, forced relocation and the destruction of their traditional ways of life. The survival of the American Indians over the past five centuries is remarkable in itself.
Is the Indian culture going on developing or has it disappeared at all?
Native American cultures are rich and diverse. Nowadays there are more than 500 tribal groups. They keep the old Indian traditions and ideals. The most important center of modern Indian culture is in the state of Oklahoma. There are some values and beliefs which the Indians share with other peoples. For example, “everything is spiritual”, “we are all related”, “we must share the gifts of life”, “we must seek personal truth”- these are the rules the real Indians follow. I think their ideals would help us to live in peace and friendship in the world.
American Indians continue to struggle to find a way to honor their traditional ways while living in a white man’s nation. In the beginning, our Creator gave all the races of mankind the same songs and the same drums to keep in touch with Him, to keep faith. But people kept forgetting. In the fullness of time, the spiritual traditions of all the peoples – they are the same – will be united again in a great gathering of their leaders. And they will gain power to remake the world. To show our friendship and respect to all our brothers I suggest passing the eagle feather to other camps as a symbol of cleanness of our ideals and thoughts.
The Indian names of the states:
Massachusetts (great mountain)
Connecticut (long tidal river)
Kentucky (dark and bloody ground)
Arkansas (hot water)
Mississippi (great water)
Alabama (here we rest)
Wisconsin (meeting of the waters)
Michigan (great lake)
Ohio (far to look upon)
Illinois (perfect and accomplished men)
North Dakota (friends)
Minnesota (water that reflects the sky)
Nebraska (flat water)
Kansas (people of the south wind)
Missouri (wooden canoe, muddy water)
Oklahoma (large open place)
Idaho (it is sun up)
Wyoming (large plains or meadows)
Utah (high up, at the top of the mountain)