Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Aboriginal Awareness Week

This is Aboriginal Awareness Week and there have been a number of displays and performances at Place du Portage, the complex of buildings in Gatineau where I work. This morning, I was walking back to my office after getting a coffee from the food court when I heard music. In a large hallway, these marvellous Aboriginal musicians were playing drums and singing. They were so good I had to stop.

I wanted to get a better picture of the headress on this drummer. His costume was so colourful. Then I noticed a woman beside him, also dressed in a very colourful costume and holding a ceremonial fan made of eagle feathers.

An announcer said that she would now perform a traditional dance called the "Jingle Dance". Her skirt had a lot of bells and they really did jingle as she danced to the music of the drummers. 

I was trying really hard to get a good photograph of her as she danced but ... have you ever noticed how hard it is to hold a camera and take good pictures while you are also trying to find a place to put your cup of coffee? There was a very large crowd watching the performance with me. A woman beside me said that if I wanted to get some great photos I should go to the pow wow on the weekend (info at

The woman beside me also gave a running commentary. She pointed out how amazing the dancer's footwork was. It was true - she was mesmerizing to watch. And her dress was so beautiful and colourful. But alas! - I had to leave and go back to work. Oh well - it was an unexpected delight in a rather mundane, ordinary day.


Knatolee said...

Great pics! Gordon worked at Place du Portage when he was with Indian and Northern Affairs.

I went to a Powwow in BC once, and it was so fun.

Sarah said...

Isn't it great when you see something you weren't expecting in your day-to-day routine? Cool photos, especially considering you were also holding a coffee!