Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ohlone Dazzle at the Ethnic Dance Festival

Over the last weeks I've filmed at the Ethnic Dance Festival for the Ohlone Profiles Project, to document what everyone is calling the return of the Ohlone. At each event the folks like Ann Marie Sayers or Corrina Gould remind us that they never left, they were just driven from their original home in the bay area and now their history is finally being recognized in a beautiful way — let this just be the beginning!
June 3rd at city hall, Mayor Lee presented Rumsen Ohlone Tribal Chief Tony Cerda with the Festival's annual Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award, which was followed by a presentation of song and dance. Last weekend the tribe was at the Yerba Buena Center (YBCA) where they performed, and at the evenings close held a healing ceremony for their ancestors who are buried below the YBCA and the Yerba Buena Gardens.

If you haven't checked it out, the World Arts West Ethnic Dance Festival features bay area dancers performing dances from their culture and as Alastair Macaulay at the New York times puts it, "what other city in the world has anything like the ethnic dance festival." It is truly a unique and powerful experience with dances from around the globe. This years dances originate from places like Peru, India, Lebanon, Hawaii, Mexico and yes, right here, San Francisco's original people, the Ohlone. If you are looking for a meaningful event for your fourth of July weekend check out the Coastanoan Rumsen Tribe's performance among other dancers at the YBCA Novelluss Theater on July 1, 2, or 3rd.

If you want to learn more and follow the latest Ohlone News, check out the Ohlone Profiles project. You might want to check out this bit of local while you're here (why not, go for it!):