As the drum starts to beat, young dancers some enrobed in colorful tribal dress and others in regular clothes, begin to move rhythmically to the music. And then, as the drumming becomes more intense the drummer begins to sing a native rhythmn and the young dancers express themselves through that music.
On Friday, the classes at the Gallup Hill Elementary School were treated to a cultural experience as members from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation performed a demonstration of drumming, singing and dancing.
"It was great to see what some of the kids do outside of school," said Principal Pam Austen after the performance. "It's such a rich culture, right down the road, we may as well tap into it."
For about one hour, Kenny Merrick, Jr. a cultural instructor for our local tribe beat the drums while explaining the significance of the dances and how they were used to communicate and express feeling. Also as Merrick stated, it brought families and tribes together for entertainment when the world had no television.
"I try to share with the kids how important it is to treat each other right and not to be ashamed of who you are and where you come from," said Merrick. "And how important it is to share your feelings."