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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 18, 2002 - Issue 61


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Houma Indians Entertain
Masses at Jazz Fest

by Matt Gresham The Houma Courier
NEW ORLEANS -- The Native American Village at the 2002 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was jumping and thumping with the sounds of local Indian groups Friday.

The Bayou Healers Youth Council and Southern Connection Drum entertained and educated large crowds during morning and afternoon performances at The Fairgrounds.

Jazz Fest, which revs up again today through Sunday, is spotlighting Native American culture this year.

Members of the Bayou Healers and Southern Connection Drum performed inter-tribal dances, combined with stories of how the performances originated.

"We had a great time," said Brenda Dardar-Robichaux, principal-in-chief of the United Houma Nation and a member of the Jazz Fest Advisory Board. "We had a lot of our tribal members out there."

Along with performing for record-breaking first-weekend crowds at the Jazz Fest, the group takes the opportunity to raise money by operating a food booth at the Native American Village. The group prepares and sells fry bread and shrimp and corn maquechou.

"There were record-breaking crowds Friday and Saturday, and our sales reflected it," Robichaux said.

In 2001, United Houma Nation members raised enough money to re-roof the group's Montegut Tribal Center.

"This year, we're looking at using the money to buy fireproof filing cabinets to secure all of our genealogy records," Robichaux said. "If we were to lose the records, it would be devastating."

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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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