The Elks Lodge Convention brought a wonderful array of visitors on Friday, April 17. The spouses and guests were graciously entertained by the Agai Dicutta Dancers from Schurz, first thing in the morning at Veterans Park.
Sandy Smith explained that the lodge plans a variety of events and locations to visit throughout the day while the Elks are holding their meetings. “As the hosting town, we try to expose our guests to the special nature of our area and this was a perfect way to share the ethnic culture of our local Indians.”
Pat Hicks, the tribal grandmother and dance leader was articulate in explaining the dances, the meaning behind each movement and acted as master of ceremonies for the event.
Nathan was introduced as the father of several dancers, but also as the one playing the whistle drum in person with the prerecorded accompaniment.
Hicks explained the unique costuming, “I made every one of these outfits and their moccasins. The extra costuming for the Friendship Dance or the Rabbit Dance was also my creation. The collars we wear represent a Nevada tribe, so when you see these you will know the tribe is from Nevada. It takes me quite a while to make each one – there’s a lot of counting and adding beads.”
Several from the audience were able to take a closer look as the children offered to share an close up examination of the clothing. The collars were similar to crocheting and yet the intricate beading patterns made each one different and special to the outfit. Hicks encourages the children to learn public speaking, so she had each child introduce themselves and share their age and school. The youngest dancers were just two years old, shying away from using the microphone with boldness.
From the snake dance to the basket dance and even a dance that involved the audience in a large circle, the guests were vocally appreciative of the talented effort from these children.