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March 27, 2012

Experience Native American culture, music at DWU

MITCHELL – Native American culture, history and music will be presented during two separate times next week at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Kevin Locke, a world-renowned indigenous flute player and Hoop Dancer, will perform during a workshop at 4 p.m. and a presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, at the Sherman Center. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

The 4 p.m. presentation will be an interactive workshop consisting of traditional music and dance catered to the audience’s age and interests. The evening performance, “The Hoop of Life,” will feature traditional flute music, Lakota stories and the Hoop Dance.

The Hoop Dance is a traditional Plains Indian dance that is a celebration of the rebirth of nature in springtime. There are 28 hoops in all, each representing a day in the lunar cycle. The hoops are symbolic of the “great hoop of life, where the sky meets the Earth, and all of the hoops that exist within that sphere,” states Locke’s book, “The Spirit World.” He plays the seven-note cedar-wood flute, as well, an art form on the brink of extinction 20 years ago, according to his website, which explains that cedar is of spiritual importance among Native Americans. To make a flute, the red heart of the wood is removed, and the maker is “then obliged to put his/her own heart into the instrument.”

Locke grew up on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, on the South Dakota-North Dakota border in west-central South Dakota, and has performed and lectured in more than 80 countries.

This speaker is funded in part by the South Dakota Arts Council and the DWU Native American Lecture Fund. South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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Last updated: 3/27/12