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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 2, 2002 - Issue 73


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American Indian Dancer Featured in Magazine

by Tim Carpenter, News Reporter Lawrence Journal-World
credits:Thad Allender/Journal-World Photo
Frederick Diaz dances across the cover of a magazine read by elementary school students across the country. Frederick Diaz dances across the cover of a magazine read by elementary school students across the country.

Frederick, a third-grader at Cordley School in Lawrence, is in the cover photograph of Scholastic News. The story is about powwows, an American Indian celebration that allows people to renew old friendships and make new ones while dancing and singing.

"It's kind of exciting," he said, adding that his fellow students at Cordley were surprised at his appearance in the publication.

Frederick, 9, is of the Apache Tribe and has been performing as a grass dancer for as long as he can remember.

"In the old days, grass dancers were the first to dance at powwows," he said in the article. "They would stomp the tall grass down so that others could dance. Now, people use lawn mowers."

Frederick attends between five and 10 powwows annually with his mother, Freda Tapedo, who works in the office of the president at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Frederick performs in competitions wearing a decorated belt and beaded armbands. He has a matching headband topped with coarse porcupine quills. Colorful foot-long fringe accents his attire.

"My aunt made it," he said. "The porcupine, my grandmother got for me."

The photographer for Scholastic News, Mary Pierpoint of Overbrook, shot the photos at Frederick's home.

On page 4 of the magazine, Pierpoint shares a recipe for "Fantastic Fry Bread," a tasty treat often found for sale at powwows.

The recipe is illustrated with a small picture of Frederick with what appears to be fry bread in his hand.

"It was really a doughnut," he confided.

Scholastic Corp., which distributes the weekly Scholastic News, is the world's largest publisher of educational magazines for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. At Cordley, the magazine is read by first- and second-graders.

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