Friday, November 22, 2013

The Beaver Moon Gathers Spirited Supporters in Turners Falls

 "If you look into the eyes of a young child, you're going to see the ancestors of the last seven generations looking back at you.  Seeing that, you need to understand that we are here today because of the prayers and the mindfulness and the choices and actions of the past seven generations.  If you then look away and look quickly back, you'll see the eyes of the yet unborn.  Seeing that, you'll be reminded that we need to be mindful, respectful and accountable to the next seven generations, that our prayers need to go out to them."
--- Joe Graveline, from his opening remarks at the Beaver Moon Gathering

Graveline and HIggiins Open Gathering (Photo by Skye Wellington)
As a group of bright eyed children gathered around Loril Moondream, a storyteller with Apache roots who operates Medicine Mammals a wildlife rehabilitation program in Wendell, you could hear drumming through the door to the Great Hall of the Discovery Center in Turners Falls.  The smell of freshly baked traditional foods and pastries filled the air along with the hum of spirited conversation.

On Saturday, November 16,  200 people from across the region came together to enjoy an array of Native American music, educational activities, food and crafts at the Beaver Moon Gathering organized by the Nolumbeka Project.  Beginning with the opening words and music of Nolumbeka Project President, Joe Graveline and Native American flute virtuoso Barry Higgins, the program included performances by Strong Oak and the Visioning B.E.A.R. Drum Singers, and the Medicine Mammal Singers.  As well as the two children's craft activities presented by MoonDream, Neill Bovaird of Wolf Tree Program demonstrated  stone tool making and firemaking to interested children and adults during the course of the day.  A number of vendors and exhibitors including French/Iroquis artist Neil Dargis and Seneca potter David Pinkham displayed their arts and information.

As well as presenting an exhibit of Native American 3 Sisters Gardening and sharing some of his own jewelry as raffle gifts, Nolumbeka Project's Howard Clark made available binders of information he had collected on the history of the controversy surrounding White Ash Swamp, the ten ace parcel in Greenfield that NP is seeking to protect.  (This information is now available at the Greenfield Public Library.)

Strong Oak and Visioning B.E.A.R. (Photo by John Furbish)
A raffle drawing for a number of beautiful gifts including a frame drum crafted by Strong Oak, and hand-crafted Native American jewelry was held as the day came to a close and the spirit of celebration drifted into the November air. 

(You will find many more photos of the event, artwork, raffle items etc., and a list of raffle winners and gifts on our Facebook Page)