Hoops and Drums
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
Tradition is a big part of life on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Customs are passed on from generation to generation. It brings everyone closer together.
Drums are very important. They are used to bring people together. They say the drums have a heartbeat. When people hear it, they feel good about themselves.
I met Stephan, a member of the Arapaho tribe. He performs traditional dances. Take a look at Stephan dancing the Grass Dance. That's his favorite one.
Los Viajeros wrote a song called Tradition is a Circle. They called it that because a circle has no beginning or end. It just keeps going, like a tradition.
Carlos' friend Owen lives on the reservation. He coaches the basketball team. I never thought of American Indians playing basketball. But now that I know that some do, it's not surprising at all.
Stephan is on the basketball team. They've won six state championships. Stephan says they practice four days a week. Owen says they win because of hard work and teamwork - plus, they have fun!
Hey! Binky e-mailed me. He's very impressed that Stephan is good at basketball AND at dancing. He says it reminds him of someone whose name rhymes with "Linky." Who could he mean?
Stephan taught me how to say hello in Arapaho. It sounds like "Haba." Then I met John. John belongs to the Shoshone tribe. He says that "Haga-ni-gun" means "How are you?"
I also met Star Weed, one of the tribe's Elders. He's 86 years old. He teaches the kids all their traditions, so that one day THEY can teach the next generation. This is how cultures last so long.
Cheyenne is Stephan's horse. Since there are no fences around here, they can ride everywhere. It must be great to ride where there are no roads.