Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday's Children Blog Hop: Traditional Inuit Drum Dancing

Inuit- and specifically Inupiaq- culture plays a large part in my novel.  The heroine is half-native, and a large chunk of the story is devoted to her rediscovering her heritage.

Tradition is still strong in the North.  Inuit of every tribe still practice traditional festivals, eat traditional food, dance traditional dances.  It's a beautiful way to honor those who have gone before, and allows people who are often misunderstood and disenfranchised to be part of a human timeline that extends back into history.

The young play an equal part in preserving these traditions.  As this video clip illustrates, however, Inuit heritage is far from static.  It is a vibrant legacy that everyone can embrace and leave their own stamp on.



Excerpt from All That Glitters

The drummers began to play, an ancient, pulsating sound.  A troop of dancers shuffled out.  Their feet pounded the ground in time to the beat, their hands and arms dusted the air in rhythmic circles. 
      Ethan looked down at Ava.  She was transfixed, eyes glued to the dancers.  Her body swayed slightly.  She felt him watching her and looked up.  Ethan smiled.  “We survived.”
      She chuckled.  “So we did.”  She turned back to the dancers.  Ethan was about to as well, when she threaded her arm through his.  He stared at her, surprised.  She didn’t look up.  “Thanks.”  The corners of her lips lifted.  “You know.  For today.”
      In front of them, the dancers dipped and circled, their shadows long and flickering under the low-slung sun.  Ava leaned into him, her warm, soft weight a comfortable pressure at his side.  Ethan laid a hand over hers and tucked her close.  “My pleasure.”

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13 comments:

  1. So cool! And your post gave me an idea for a future TC post of my own, having to do with heritage, so thanks! I love the old traditional music blending with hip hop moves. Powerful little writing excerpt too :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! And you're welcome. Glad you liked it, and glad to be of service!

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  2. I loved the phrase:'their hands and arms dusted the air in rhythmic circles.' Great visual - and I can understand why the drum dancing inspires!

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    1. Thanks Raewyn! Happy early Thursday :-)

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  3. This is awesomely cool. Do you know the Sami singer Mari Boine? This kind of reminded me of her. Thanks for joining us!

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    1. Thanks for including me! I'll have to look up that Mari Boine- I've been listening to a lot of Pamyua for this book...

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  4. Oooh - I love me some drum circles. I try to play in them at least a couple times a year. I also like to listen to drumming while I write. :)

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    1. That's awesome! I've never played in a drum circle before, but I sure love listening...

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  5. super cool and lovely excerpt! i love drum circles - so powerful.

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    1. There's something hugely primal about them, too- helps me get into the proper space for writing!

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  6. I love the notion of rediscovering your heritage, and the inuit angle is great. There isn't enough written about native american culture and tradition. (I live in Canada, and the prosperity of native people is a big issue right now).

    PS: I LOVE your tight as nails sentences. I don't think I could have squeezed them any tighter!

    Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Oooo! Sounds like a GREAT idea. Love to read more. The past is rich in lore and magic. Have fun writing and I look forward to reading your book!

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