“We are One”, Bo Taylor explained, after an interactive dance that engaged the entire audience in a human spiral that turned in the center of the gym.
And this was the overriding theme of a presentation that both entertained and educated an enchanted audience in Birchwood, TN, on November 15th. Since its inception, 17 years ago, Cherokee history has been an integral part of the Cherokee Heritage and Sandhill Crane Festival.
In 1838, Blythe Ferry, located just outside the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge on the banks of the Tennessee River was a major holding area for nine encampments of Cherokee and Creek Indians. It was here that over 9000 individuals, some sick and elderly, all grieving, waited for months until they could cross and begin their forced journey to Oklahoma in the historic Trail of Tears. To honor those who suffered this tragedy, the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park has been established at Blythe Ferry, adjacent to the Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge.
Dressed in his hand-made outfit incorporating the uplifting colors of a rainbow, Bo Taylor, a Cherokee Indian from Cherokee, NC, announced, "Anybody can dance. And you can't dance without laughing". To demonstrate this, he led the audience through several interactive dances. And with story-telling and demonstration, he brought together the messages of respect for others’ differences and treating yourself and your heritage with honor.
Above, he recruits Jennifer Perdew, Operations Manager of Ocoee Adventure Company, to help demonstrate absurd and thoughtless reactions people sometimes have to differences. And below, well...let's dance.
Laughter creates community and warms hearts.
Ocean Trail at Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, California--2015
Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park--2014
Bird-banding at Seven Islands
Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!--2014
Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John--2014
The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA--2014
Me and Denali--2012
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.